Ostwald Award Archives
Roger Nixon (b.1921) attended Modesto Junior College from 1938-1940 where he studied clarinet with Frank Mancini, formerly of Sousa's Band. He continued his studies at the University of California at Berkeley, majoring in composition and receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1941. His studies were then interrupted by almost four years of active duty as a line officer in the Navy during World War II. Following the war Nixon returned to Berkeley, first receiving a M.A. degree and later a Ph.D. His composition teachers included Arthur Bliss, Ernest Bloch, Arnold Schoenberg and Roger Sessions.
From 1951 to 1959, Nixon was on the music faculty at Modesto Junior College. He was then appointed to the faculty at San Francisco State College in 1960 and began a long association with the Symphonic Band, which premiered many of his works. Most of Nixon's works are for band, but he has also composed a cantata, a miniature opera and several works for orchestra.
Nixon has received several awards including a Phelan Award, the Neil A. Kjos Memorial Award, and five grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and he was elected to the American Bandmasters Association in 1973. He is currently Professor Emeritus of Music at San Francisco State University.
Mazzaferro, Anthony. "Roger A. Nixon and His Works for Band," Journal of Band Research, Fall 1988.
Correspondence with the composer.