Director of Bands
Associate Professor, Music
Music Bldg, Room 166B
Dr. Chad R. Nicholson is the Director of Bands at the University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music where he conducts the University of Arizona Wind Ensemble, the Chamber Winds, and instructs the undergraduate and graduate wind conducting students. Dr. Nicholson is an active author and pedagogue; he has published articles in The Instrumentalist and in eight volumes of Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Additionally, he has published a book designed to aid conductors in repertoire selection and concert programming titled Great Music for Wind Band, and he is a contributing author for the recently published sourcebook for music educators, Engaging Musical Practices.
Dr. Nicholson's experiences as a music educator span all ages and ensemble types, including concert and athletic groups from public school through university levels. He has conducted many regional and All-State groups in addition to international bands. In 2014, Nicholson was the first conductor invited to lead the Shanghai International School Honor Band, and in 2015 he was a member of the distinguished international panel of adjudicators for the All-Chinese Wind Band Contest.
Nicholson is a frequent presenter and performer at regional, national, and international conferences. Dr. Nicholson led his ensemble in performance at the Taiwan International Band Clinic in Taipei and at the CBDNA Eastern Division Conference. Nicholson has presented twice at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, and he was a clinician at the 2016 NAfME National In-Service Conference in Grapevine, Texas. In 2018, Dr. Nicholson led the UA Wind Ensemble in performance at the CBDNA Western/Northwestern Divisions Conference. He is also the regular guest conductor for the Beijing Wind Orchestra, China's oldest professional wind ensemble. Nicholson recently conducted that group in the first performance of the 2018 Chinese New Year at the National Centre for the Performing Arts.
Previous to his appointment at the University of Arizona, Dr. Nicholson served as a conductor at the University of Delaware, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, and Colorado State University; he was a public school educator in Beaverton, Oregon and Lawton, Oklahoma. His primary conducting mentors include William Wakefield, Ken Van Winkle, Stephen Pratt and Ray Cramer. Nicholson holds degrees from the University of Oklahoma (BME), New Mexico State University (MM), and Indiana University (DM).