“It’s the perfect example of how music and art can inspire when presented together by one artist and a major symphony orchestra. The audience at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Music was totally awed as Wilson Hurley’s five triptychs not only were enhanced by magnificent lighting, but also seemed to be alive as the Oklahoma City University Orchestra played inspiring music. The musical evening was a triumph for all involved. Not often does a college symphony earn standing ovations. This one deserved and received this applause.” 

--Joan Gilmore, The Journal Record (Link)

“Benjamin Nilles led with professional panache and dignity to honor the moment. Throughout, the OCU Vespers Orchestra excelled, notably at its summit during “St. Gregory the Great” by Ottorino Respighi. In this performance, the evocative grand melody of tribute to Gregory and the God he worshiped roared with joy.”

--Patrick B. McGuigan, The City Sentinel (Link)

“The audience members at the Oklahoma History Center were mesmerized as they sat under the Winnie Mae airplane listening to the magnificent musical tribute to Wiley Post, who flew that plane decades ago. The Oklahoma City University Symphony Orchestra was outstanding.”

--Joan Gilmore, The Journal Record (Link)


“In my experience, it has been rare to collaborate with a musician of such nuance and professionalism as Benjamin Nilles. Ben is the ideal colleague and an excellent conductor. He is humble, helpful, amiable, a natural leader, extremely well organized, and a tremendous mentor and director.” 

--Edward Knight; Composer in Residence, Oklahoma City University

“Ben is a very thoughtful and hard-working musician, and is a gracious but decisive leader on the podium. I've worked with many great conductors in my career, and there is no doubt that I consider Ben among the most prepared and inspirational conductors I've worked with.”

--Ryan Beach; Principal Trumpet, Alabama Symphony Orchestra

“Mr. Nilles’ unwavering and complete knowledge of whatever score happened to be on the podium and consistent execution meant that I never once worried – I was able to direct my energies toward creating a performance with meaning and emotion. As an orchestral musician who has played under many conductors, I can say honestly that Mr. Nilles has been the most consistently inspiring leader with whom I’ve had the opportunity to make music.”

--Caleb Mitchum, Principal Flute under Nilles at Oklahoma City University

“Ben Nilles is an incredible leader – orchestra rehearsals were always something to look forward to. In addition to being clear and easy to follow, Mr. Nilles conducted with a musicality that was both contagious and inspiring.” 

--Danielle Petersen, Concertmaster under Nilles at Oklahoma City University


“New Orchestral Suite Reopens ‘Windows to the West’”

--Brandy McDonnell, The Oklahoman (Link)

“OCU’s New Conductor Takes Helm of Established Orchestra”

--Rick Rodgers, The Oklahoman (Link)