Director of Choral Activities, San Jose State University
Phone: (408) 924-4645
Dr. Benson has served as cover conductor for the Grammy award-winning Washington Chorus, where he helped to prepare the ensemble for Maestros Julian Wachner, Leonard Slatkin and Marvin Hamlisch. In 2006, Benson was invited to La Universidad Americana in Managua, Nicaragua to assist the university in forming the first a cappella choir at the institution.
Choirs under his direction have performed on multiple state and regional conferences of ACDA and NAfME and have toured throughout the United States and Europe, including invited performances at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The White House and Washington National Cathedral. Recently Dr. Benson’s choirs have been invited to perform with the Rolling Stones, Andrea Bocelli, the Los Angeles Festival Orchestra and the Skywalker Orchestra. In 2006, the Woodlawn Chamber Singers under Dr. Benson’s direction were the only high school choir invited to sing on the National Conference of Chorus America in Washington, DC.
Dr. Benson is an active member of the National Association for Music Education, the American Choral Directors Association, and the National Collegiate Choral Organization, where he currently serves as California National Board Representative. In 2002, ACDA recognized Benson with the first annual Colleen Kirk Award for his outstanding achievement as a young conductor.
A former member of the Choir of Men and Boys at Washington National Cathedral, Dr. Benson is an active singer and a frequent guest conductor and clinician. Benson will conduct several honor choirs on both coasts including appearances at Lincoln Center, Avery Fisher Hall and The Kennedy Center in 2013-14. Santa Barbara Music Publishing recently released one of Dr. Benson’s folksong arrangements under the Charlene Archibeque Choral Series.
Benson received his Masters degree and his Doctorate in Choral Conducting/Music Education from The Florida State University and his Bachelors degree in Music Education from New York University.