A native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Benjamin Vickers holds the Bachelor of Music degree from the University of New Mexico; the Master of Music degree from Arizona State University; and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the University of Michigan. Ben most recently served as staff conductor with the El Paso Symphony Youth Orchestras, working principally with the top two orchestras. Before this, he appeared with the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra in several performances, including in public masterclasses with conductors Lorin Maazel and Helmuth Rilling, and was conductor of the Campus Symphony Orchestra at the University of Michigan. Ben served as conducting assistant for the University of Michigan orchestras and as assistant conductor for the university’s productions of Così fan tutte and the The Dreamy Kid, a one-act blues opera by James P. Johnson. In 2010, Ben was selected as a conducting fellow at Canada’s National Arts Centre, studying with Pinchas Zukerman and Kenneth Kiesler. Ben has also been selected to participate in several conducting workshops, including those of the American Symphony Orchestra League, Conductors Guild, International Conducting Workshop and Festival, Brevard Music Center, as well as the Conductors Retreat at Medomak. As a cellist, he was a member of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra; collaborated in performances of the works of George Crumb with the composer in attendance; and played in the pit for Ballet Arizona and the Bolshoi Ballet on a U.S. tour in Phoenix, Arizona. Mr Vickers was featured as continuo player in several scenes from Monteverdi’s opera The Coronation of Poppea, presented at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D. C. by the University of Michigan. He performed on the University of Michigan’s multiple-Grammy winning recording of William Bolcom’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience, conducted by Leonard Slatkin.