Danny Maddox Nichols, Director of the Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band
Danny Maddox Nichols is a graduate of Miami University, cum laude, where he earned degrees in Music Education and Educational Leadership. While studying music at Miami, Mr. Nichols served as principal clarinetist of the university orchestra, wind ensemble, and chamber orchestra, appearing as a soloist with each organization. He also performed with the New Music Ensemble in the Carnegie Recital Hall in New York City. Mr. Nichols graduated with several honors including the A.D. Lekvold Award, the Pask Heisey Service Award, Orchestral Player Awards, and was named a University Presser Scholar by President Phillip Shriver.
Mr. Nichols attended Aiken High School in Cincinnati. During that time, he studied clarinet with Daniel Rumer, Michael Sutyak, and Carmine Campione, and was a member of the Cincinnati Youth Symphony. At the end of his senior year, Mr. Nichols was the first recipient of the “Louis E. Aiken Fine Arts Scholarship” to attend Miami University, and also received a summer scholarship to the Cincinnati Conservatory Summer Music Institute to study piano, theory, and to play clarinet in the Festival Orchestra under Rubin Sher. Mr. Nichols then attended Miami University on a music scholarship and studied clarinet with John Hardy.
During his junior year, Mr. Nichols appeared as soloist with the University Chamber Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, performing Wagner’s Adagio for Clarinet and Strings, and Stravinsky’s Clarinet Concerto. Mr. Nichols also performed several works in recital by Brahms, Stravinsky, Debussy, Berg, Honneger, Schubert, Beethoven, Poulenc, Hindemith, and premiered a piece for Solo Clarinet, “Wind Crying in the Hallow Woods,” by Steven McKinstry. During that time, Mr. Nichols also formed a small Student-Faculty Chamber Orchestra and conducted Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto with soloist Kathy Leprotti.
While student teaching in Cincinnati, Mr. Nichols was invited to return to campus to conduct performances of Copland’s “Quiet City” and Dello Joio’s “Scenes from the Louvre.”
Upon graduation, Mr. Nichols taught Instrumental Music, grades 5-8, and was department chair of the Fairfield Middle School. Continuing to play clarinet, he performed with the Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony, the Hamilton Municipal Band, and the SOSB. Mr. Nichols also returned to campus to attend conducting workshops led by Carmen DeLeone.
After completing graduate studies in Educational Leadership, Mr. Nichols became a school administrator, serving as an assistant principal in the Princeton City Schools, an elementary principal in Deer Park, and then returning to Fairfield as an assistant principal in the building he had taught.
Upon retirement, Mr. Nichols directed Fairfield’s Summer Community Theatre orchestra in productions of “Brigadoon” and “Seussical the Musical.” He also served as director of the Post 530 American Legion Concert Band for five years. In 2014, he was named Associate Conductor of the Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band, and in 2019, became its third director.