Tuskegee University has selected FAMU alumnus and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. member Dr. J. William Nicholas has been announced as the new band director for the Marching Crimson Pipers. Get the full story from the release below.
Tuskegee University has announced Dr. J. William Nicholas as the University’s new band director. Nicholas recently served as the Adjunct Director of Bands position at Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina, where he conducted the Wind Ensemble and taught instrumental conducting. He brings extensive experience in directing, performing, and quality instrumental conducting to the position.
“We look forward to working with Dr. Nicholas; his wealth of experience and leadership will help advance the Marching Crimson Pipers band program,” said President Dr. Charlotte P. Morris. “Nicholas adds to Tuskegee’s legacy in music education, and we are excited to see his vision, outreach, and programming initiatives.”
Nicholas is well-known in the secondary school band community; he has arranged for several bands across the southeastern United States over the last decade, including over ten high schools. From 2014 to 2019, he served as Director of Bands at Jones High School in Orlando, Florida. He grew the band program to 110 students, significantly increased student participation in audition-based honor bands, and earned consistent superior ratings on the District and State level. In 2018, in conjunction with the Jones High School Wind Ensemble, the Jones High School Concert Choir, garnered national attention on the “Ellen” show after receiving a $100,000 donation to fund a trip to perform at Carnegie Hall.
Additionally, he has arranged for the Edward Waters College “Triple Threat” Marching Band and the Allen University “Band of Gold” Marching Band. Nicholas has also served as a Session Coordinator for presentations at the Florida Music Educators Association Conference.
“I am tremendously excited by and grateful for the opportunity to join the Golden Tiger family, “said Nicholas. “For well over 100 years, bands at Tuskegee have represented this historic institution with excellence and pride. I look forward to continuing and elevating that tradition of excellence as Director of Bands.”
As an avid tuba player, Nicholas most recently performed as an on-call musician for several churches in the Orlando area. During his undergraduate study, he served as a principal tubist in the Florida A&M University Wind Ensemble and performed in numerous University chamber ensembles and chamber ensembles around the “Big Bend.”
A native of Orlando, Florida, Nicholas earned the Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in band conducting at the University of South Carolina. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from Florida A&M University and Florida State University. His professional affiliations include the Golden Key International Honor Society, National Association for Music Education, and Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity.
Nicholas will begin his new role on June 1.