Jim Benson began learning to play the cello at age 10 in a public school program. He then went on to study the cello at Sewanee Summer Music Center, Interlochen Arts Academy, Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis), the Blossom Festival School, the Indiana University School of Music, and the University of Akron. Past orchestral experiences include the Rockford Symphony, the Memphis Symphony, the Terre Haute Symphony, and the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra. After arriving in the Akron area Jim joined the Akron Symphony where he has been a member of the cello section since 1996. He also enjoys playing in small ensembles in the area as a freelance musician for weddings, receptions, religious services, holiday concerts, and of course with the Divertimento String Quartet. During the day, Jim works as a Systems Librarian at the William F. Maag Library of Youngstown State University.
“ I live in Tallmadge with my wife and kids. When I have free time, I enjoy watching movies with them, attending their performances and sporting events, and biking and hiking with them on local trails. A few years ago, I started setting up a small woodworking shop in our basement and am finally getting to the point where I can make something useful, having recently completed a desk for my daughter and a small bookcase for my son.”