Associate Professor of Music, George Mason University
Dr. Michael W. Nickens completed his academic degrees from the Manhattan School of Music, Yale University, and the University of Michigan. He joined the faculty of the George Mason University School of Music in fall 2006 as Director of Athletic Bands (including Doc Nix and the Green Machine) and as an Assistant Professor of Music. At Mason, he has taught courses in sight-singing/ear training, popular music in America, an improvisatory music ensemble, brass methods, and regularly collaborates with the George Mason University School of Dance. During the summers he has taught tuba, jazz performance, improvisation, chamber music, and theory at the Performing Arts Institute at Wyoming Seminary and the Northern Arizona University Music Camp in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Nickens has a particular interest in the convergence of music, identity, and diversity, and the role of music in building community and well-being. He draws on his experiences as a former marching member of the Cadets of Bergen County Drum and Bugle Corps, the James Madison University Marching Royal Dukes, the Yale Precision Marching Band, and as a drum major and marching member of the Spirit of America National Honor Band. He is active as a composer/arranger, and clinician working with a variety of marching programs around the Washington D.C. metropolitan area.