MAC honors School of Music faculty member

John Nichol awarded for inspiring music students

| Author: Aaron Mills

Central Michigan University School of Music faculty member John Nichol has been named a recipient of the Mid-American Conference Outstanding Faculty Award for Student Success. The award recognizes one faculty member from each of the 12 MAC institutions for their outstanding effort in supporting and developing students both inside and outside of the classroom.

John Nichol (right) instructs a saxophone student.

“I strive to promote student-driven success,” Nichol said. “I’m the kind of educator who puts my students first, collaborating to help them identify and diligently pursue their personal and professional goals.  Inspiration comes from a clear roadmap.  We have a lot of fun together in navigating this process.”

Nichol is professor of saxophone at Central Michigan University as well as a nationally recognized performer, having performed by invitation at nine World Saxophone Congresses. He also has performed at numerous international jazz festivals in addition to touring with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, the Harry James Orchestra and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra.

As impressive as that résumé reads, Nichol views his greatest accomplishments as those of his students, many of whom have achieved success in national and international competitions and gone on to pursue lifelong careers as successful performers and music educators.

“It’s an incredible responsibility to nurture a passion for art music,” Nichol said. “Given the right conditions, it is like a hook that comes out and grabs you.  Once exposed to the highest forms of art music, students want to explore it further and recreate it on their own.  I find that giving my students a platform to achieve excellence is the ‘ace in the hole’ when teaching them – here is what we can achieve together, now let’s get to work and go do it.”