Marching Percussion Director
Nick Nichols serves as the Marching Percussion Director of the "Pride of Niner Nation" Marching Band, beginning his tenure in 2014 as Director of the 49ers Drumline. A native of Belmont, North Carolina, Nick holds degrees from Western Carolina University (BS Communication '06), the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (BA Music/Percussion '11) and East Carolina University (MM Performance in Conducting/Percussion '14).
While at East Carolina, Nick served as the Drumline Instructor/Arranger of the ECU Marching Pirates and also the Co-Director of the ECU Basketball Pep Band. He has taught various high school percussion sections across North Carolina, including the West Carteret High School “Marching Patriots” (2013), Cape Fear High School (2011–2012), New Bern High School “Marching Bears” (2011–2012), West Craven High School “Marching Eagles” (2011) and North Lincoln High School “Band of Knights” (2007–2011, 2014). In fall 2011, Nick founded the percussion independent open-class ensemble, Forza East Percussion, and served as the Executive Director for the 2012–2014 seasons, competing in Winter Guard International (WGI).
Nick has performed with WCU's Sudler Trophy-winning "Pride of the Mountains" Marching Band, Percussion Ensemble and Jazz Bands. At UNC Charlotte, he performed with the Percussion Ensemble, as principal percussionist in the Wind Ensemble and Concert Band, and the Jazz Combos. At ECU, he performed with the Percussion Ensembles and Wind Ensemble, and also as guest conductor for all three of ECU’s concert bands. Nick was a charter member of Carolina Thunder Entertainment (now known as Carolina Panthers PurrCussion), and has been a sought-after musician for various local music engagements in the Charlotte and Eastern North Carolina regions.
Nick has studied percussion privately with Dr. Jonathan Wacker, Rick Dior, Rick Cline, Dr. Mario Gaetano and Matt Henley, as well as conducting with Dr. Scott Carter and Dr. Bill Staub. He is an Innovative Percussion educational artist and proudly endorses/performs with Innovative Percussion sticks and mallets, Remo Drumheads and TreeWorks Chimes.
Nick also currently teaches elementary general music at Legette Blythe Elementary School in Huntersville, North Carolina, and serves as adjunct faculty teaching percussion techniques in the UNC Charlotte Department of Music. Nick and his wife Laura live in Belmont with their two children and two dogs.