Roger Nixon attended Modesto Junior College from 1938–1940 where he studied clarinet with former Sousa Band member, Frank Mancini. 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 interrupted when he was called to active duty as a line officer in the Navy during World War II. Following the war Nixon returned to Berkeley, first receiving a MA degree and later a PhD. His composition teachers included Arthur Bliss, Ernest Bloch, and Roger Sessions. He also studied privately with Arnold Schoenberg in the summer of 1948. 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 their Symphonic Band, which premièred many of his works. Nixon received several awards including a Phelan Award, the Neil A. Kjos Memorial Award, and five grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1973 he was elected to the American Bandmasters Association.
Courtesy of David Robinson/Robert Schwartz