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Russ Benzamin
Program Coordinator Emeritus


Russ BenzaminRuss Benzamin has been teaching music since 1958, with 25 years in public school education, 19 years as DCCCD faculty, four years at Missouri Southern University and two years at North Texas State University (now UNT).

He also served as Cedar Valley's founding coordinator of the Commercial Music program from 1977, the year the program was established, to 1989. He holds a bachelor's degree in music education from Missouri Southern University, has a master's degree in theory and composition from Northern Colorado University, and has completed all but the dissertation for a doctorate from the University of North Texas.

Teaching awards include directing the "best band" in senior college competition with the Junior College Jazz Band in Lawrence, Kan.; Joplin, Mo.; and Little Rock, Ark.; as well as being named DCCCD's 1984 "Innovator of the Year" for developing the Commercial Music program, a selection from among 5,000 educators at seven colleges.

Professionally, he has played piano or conducted with Mel Tormé, Diahann Carrol, Milton Berle, Rosemary Clooney, Doc Severinsen, Phyllis Diller, Red Buttons, Rodney Dangerfield, Barbara McNair, Franki Valli, Lou Rawls, Glen Campbell, Crystal Gayle, Joan Rivers, Vic Damone, Henry Mancini, Bill Conti, Red Skelton, Steve Allen, Robert Goulet, Dom DeLuise, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Miss Texas Pageant, Kings Club at the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas, the Playboy Club and Stan Kenton.

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