The Colorado State University School of the Arts has named Chris Nicholas to lead the university’s prestigious band program next year, including directing its popular marching band.
Department Chairman Todd Queen announced that Nicholas has been named interim director of Bands and director of the CSU Marching Band for the 2010-11 academic year. Additionally, Nicholas will continue to conduct the Symphonic Band.
Nicholas’ appointment comes with the departure of CSU Director of Bands Steven Moore, who has taken a position as department chair at University of Central Missouri.
The Colorado State University Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band will perform the final ensemble concert of the school year at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 2, in Griffin Concert Hall at the University Center for the Arts, 1400 Remington St. A reception recognizing Moore will follow the performance. The reception is free and open to the public.
“We are indebted to Dr. Moore for his commitment to excellence at CSU over the past 10 years,” Queen said. “Under his direction, the band program at CSU has achieved notable success. We want to inform all present and future members of the CSU Marching Band and Wind Ensemble that we are moving forward to ensure that this tradition of excellence continues.”
CSU President Tony Frank applauded the work Moore has done to build the band and position it for continued success. “Steve Moore leaves an outstanding legacy, and we’re confident that the Colorado State University Marching Band will remain in wonderful hands with the seasoned leadership of Chris Nicholas. Our band program is an excellent showcase for our student musicians and an extraordinarily popular part of our campus life – so Dr. Nicholas takes the helm with the knowledge that the entire university is committed to the continued excellence and success of our outstanding marching band.”
Prior to coming to Colorado State in 2009, Nicholas served as director of the marching band at the University of Wyoming where he was selected by the University of Wyoming Mortar Board as “Top Prof” for exceptional contributions to the university and service to students. Nicholas received the UW Extraordinary Merit in Teaching Award, the University of Illinois Divisional Achievement Award and was the first conductor to receive the prestigious Iowa Doctoral Performance Fellowship.
"I am extremely excited to move into this important leadership position for the Colorado State University bands,” Nicholas said. “We will continue to work to advance our current position among the very best university band programs nationwide, furthering our commitment to cutting-edge innovation, excellence in creative programming and performance and dedication to the artistic and personal development of our students. The CSU music department is a leader among music education programs in the region, and our outreach efforts to high school music programs in the state will remain an important focus for our program."
Maestro Wes Kenney, director of Orchestras, will assume conducting duties of the Wind Ensemble for the 2010-11 academic year. Kenney, who served previously as interim director of Bands at San Francisco State University, recently was named 2009 Outstanding Teacher by the Colorado American String Teachers Association and was awarded the Grand Prize in the summer 2007 Varna International Conducting Competition. Kenney brings a wealth of professional performance and teaching experience to the ensemble, and will offer unique perspectives to students next year.