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Teacher Feature - Drew Nickles

drew nickles orchestra teacher

Drew Nickles (he/him/his) is the Orchestra and Guitar director at Gridley Middle School.

We asked Drew six questions about his life as a musician:

What Instrument Do You Play?


Best flavor of Pop Tart?

Brown Sugar Cinnamon

Favorite Piece to Conduct?

"One" by Metallica

Baton, Pencil, or just your hands?


drew nickles cello player

What Instrument do you WISH you knew how to play?

Oof, "knew" is such a loaded word...I should probably say cello or guitar as I don’t think I’ll ever fully know how to play those, but to be perfectly honest, I wish I’d learned to play piano as well as my brother, Dr. Oscar Macchioni.

Best piece of musical advice you've been given?

From my beloved late mentor, Dr. Gordon Epperson, "Look, old man (I was 25), you have a lifetime to learn all the music under the stars. Never ever lose the heartbeat of the moment because you’re mind is racing two years ahead." He taught me to cherish every waking moment I made music with/for my loved ones; I’m actually crying just thinking about him and that moment forever burning in the ether of my memory. Gordon had a way of lifting us all in our greatest performances and our most doubtful moments. I wouldn’t be the man or the musician I am today without him.


Want to be included or know a music teacher you'd like us to highlight for our teacher feature? Send us an email!


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