Posts Tagged ‘Rick Nickerson’

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Windham Chamber Singers

November 5, 2017

An American Family Holiday


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In Today’s News

December 19, 2016

Two articles

In the Maine Sunday Telegram, 18 December, 2 notable articles this week:

Rick Nickerson

The first article, written by Bob Keyes, is about Music Teacher Rick Nickerson who is one of 10 national finalists for the music educator Grammy Award. Many of you know Rick who has taught at Windham High School for 30 years and is totally committed to his students and community. I posted the initial story at THIS LINK. From one of Rick’s colleagues: “He brings what I like to call vibrant energy to the building,” said Thomas Noonan, who teaches English at Windham. “His students feed off of it, and it informs the whole school and the community. We’re all very happy for him.” This story paints a picture of Rick and what it means for him being a teacher – its not about him but the important work he does teaching, not only music – but life. The $10,000 prize for the winner will be announced in advance of the Grammy Awards TV broadcast on February 12.

Arthur Fink

The second article in the Sunday paper was written by the award winning writer Bill Nemitz, Photographer’s work with ‘short-lived children’ a personal mission is a story about the heart. Photographer Arthur Fink has been taking photos for a volunteer group called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep for 40 years. Arthur is contacted when an infant is going to die to take pictures for the family. He lost his own infant Sarah, whose heart did not function properly 43 years ago when she was six days old. This article tells the story of the amazing work that Arthur does as a photographer. One mother said afterwards: “Arthur caught some very beautiful moments. That was the first time that any of us were able to hold her,” Nicole said. “We all got to share that moment together. And he captured all of that.” Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep calls it bereavement photography‘.  Arthur says: “I just call it love being shared.” I want to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU ARTHUR! You can read the article by CLICKING HERE.

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Congratulations Rick!

October 25, 2016

Grammy Music Education

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This is year four that the Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation is recognizing a music educator with the Grammy Music Educator of the Year Award. This year one of our very own Maine music educators has been nominated and has advanced to being one of the 25 semifinalists. Rick Nickerson is the director of choral activities at Windham High School where he has taught for 30 years. Rick conducts three choirs, teaches music courses and serves as the music coordinator for the district.

Rick at the 2011 Statewide Arts Education Conference

Rick at the 2011 Statewide Arts Education Conference

The award recognizes “educators who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education.” This is the second time Rick has been nominated, first in 2013, when he advanced to the quarterfinals. Ten finalists will announced in December and one person will be selected to receive the award and be recognized at the 59th Grammy Awards ceremony on February 12, 2017.

Rick has been recognized in the past as the Maine Music Educator of the Year, Maine Distinguished Choral Director of the Year and was runner-up for Maine Teacher of the Year.

In 2011 Rick’s choir provided an excellent performance at the opening of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative Statewide Arts Education conference, Arts Teachers Leading the Way Back to the Future: Arts Assessment for Learning.

Congratulations to Rick and his Windham school district colleagues and community who support the work of music education! We’ll be waiting to hear in December if Rick makes it to the final 10 considered for the Grammy Music Educator of the Year Award! YAHOOOOOOOO!

Rick conducting at the opening of the 2011 Statewide Arts Education conference

Rick conducting at the opening of the 2011 Statewide Arts Education conference

Rick conducting at the opening of the 2011 Statewide Arts Education conference

Rick conducting at the opening of the 2011 Statewide Arts Education conference

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Magic!

December 15, 2014

Memories

Some say that life is about “making memories”. When I think about my childhood, especially during the holidays, what comes rushing into my mind, are the traditions. Little ones, like helping my Dad put the sled and reindeer (seems like they were life-size) on the lawn and the giant star that hung on the front of the house.

After I got married I mentioned that star every year, until one year my husband made one and surprised me for Christmas. When I drive up the hill at the end of the day the star shines brightly on the roof of our home and puts a smile on my face. When I was about 8 years old I wanted to give presents to my siblings and parents, but had no money to buy anything. I saved the toilet paper and paper towel rolls and wrapped them up and had everyone open them at the same time. I still remember the puzzled looks on their faces and the questions of “what are these?” Of course, “da-do-da-doos”! I can still feel my smile when they all put them to their lips and played them in unison. For years afterwards someone always wrapped one to pass on. I could go on and on about the memories that I have from childhood, in and out of school.

These might seem like little insignificant things to others but they were important to me at the time and remain forever etched in my memory. What do you do each year that is important and makes your heart sing? What do you in your classroom that creates memories for your students?

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 7.22.43 AMAs an adult one of our family traditions is to see the Magic of Christmas each year at the Merrill Auditorium. The Portland Symphony Orchestra, now directed by Robert Moody, is one of those traditions. My husband and I started going when my oldest son (now 27) was a baby. Sadly, my sons aren’t around each year to attend with us but it still continues to be a tradition for us. We attended the performance last evening and it was spectacular. In fact, it was so uniquely different than other years it is one of my favorites. The “collage”, as Robert Moody called the first half of the show, included a diverse group including, Simply Three, a string group that plays traditional tunes in an innovative style. Inanna, Sisters in Rhythm, the all women’s percussion and vocal ensemble has been around for 25 years blending the sounds of West Africa, the Middle East, and Brazil with incredible energy. And the FLUKES, Falmouth Library Ukulele EnSemble, played their version of “Mele Kalikimaka” to the delight of the audience. Two dancers from the Maine State Ballet joined the orchestra for “In the Christmas Tree” from The Nutcracker and Ray Cornils was on the returned Kotzschmar organ after a 2-year refurbishing. Soloist Susie Pepper added a memorable touch in her rendition of “Let it Go” from Frozen. The viola section was highlighted and played one of my favorites, Good King Wenceslas. My all time favorite is “Hallelujah” from Messiah which takes me back to my days in the high school choir. And, of course, the audience sing-along with the almost 3000 people in attendance joining together to make music. I am reminded of the power of music with all those voices.

Congratulations to Rick Nickerson who directs the Magic of Christmas chorus. Rick teaches music at Windham High School. MaryEllen Schaper, dance teacher, from Bonny Eagle Middle School is a member who has been singing with the Magic chorus for over 30 years. I am guessing that there are other teachers involved in the orchestra or the chorus. Please email me at argy.nestor@maine.gov so you can be recognized for your contribution to this delightful tradition.

I understand there are tickets still available for next weeks performance of the Magic of Christmas. I recommend going and making some memories of your own!

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In Today’s News

May 24, 2013

Rick Nickerson up for Grammy Honor

DSC_0036In today’s Portland Press Herald written by Leslie Bridgers

A Windham High School music teacher is up for a new award from the Grammy Foundation.

Rick Nickerson, who is also the director of the school’s chamber singers, is a quarterfinalist for the Grammy’s first-ever music educator award.

The award’s 217 quarterfinalists are from 195 cities in 45 states, according to a press release from the Grammy Foundation.

Music teachers from public and private schools, from kindergarten to college, were eligible for the award, which recognizes teachers “who have made a significant contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools,” the release said.

The winner, selected from 10 finalists, will attend the Grammy Awards and receive $10,000. The other finalists will receive $1,000, as will their schools.

Semifinalists will be named in August.

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