Will Nichols, conductor
Alma College Choirs
The Alma College Choirs have been the primary focus of Dr. Nichols' professional life since 1983. Under his leadership the choral program has grown to include three full choirs, several small, student-led close harmony groups, some 50 singers enrolled in voice lessons, and more than 175 choral singers.
Alma College honored Nichols in 1996 naming him the Stephanie and Fred G. Secrest Professor of Music. In addition to conducting the three main choirs, Dr. Nichols also teaches conducting and classes in choral pedagogy. All students in the College's renowned music education program have the chance to work closely with Dr. Nichols.
One of the few conductors who maintains a successful professional singing career, Nichols is one of Michigan's busiest professional baritones. In February '13 he will sing the role of Noah in the Benjamin Britten opera Noye's Fludde. Recently Nichols sang Handel's Messiah with the Saginaw Choral Society and the Hillsdale Chorale and the Bach Magnificat and Easter Oratorio with the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra. He has been a soloist with most of Michigan's orchestras and oratorio societies including the Grand Rapids Symphony (four appearances), the Saginaw Symphony, Midland Symphony, Calvin College Orchestra and Alumni Choir, Michigan Tech University Chorus and Keewenaw Symphony, Central Michigan University Chorus and Orchestra, the Kalamazoo Bach Festival, Michigan Bach Collegium, and the Interlochen Arts Academy chorus and orchestra.
For years Dr. Nichols has been composing for the Alma Choirs. Often he composes in collaboration with colleague Anthony Patterson -- Patterson writing the marvelous instrumental parts and Nichols writing the choral parts (and sometimes the poems) . Their original pirate song The Sea Witch has been published by Alliance Music. Their Christmas carol Shepherds! Shake Off Your Drowsy Sleep is published by GIA. Other Nichols/Patterson songs can be heard on Alma Choir CDs.
Will, and his wife Pamela, have four grown children: Jennifer lives and teaches in Greenville, Christian lives and works in Petoskey. Wilson is one of the choir directors at Traverse City West High School and sings professionally with Cospirare in Texas and the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus. Elizabeth has completed he M.A. degree in Counseling and lives and works in Chicago. If you want to get Will's attention, and if you have the patience to hear him wax lyrical about grandchildren, ask him about Elin and Henry.