George Mason's Board of Visitors

Michael West Nickens

Michael West Nickens

Dr. Michael W. Nickens joined the faculty of the George Mason University School of Music in fall 2006 as Director of the Pep Band (Doc Nix and the Green Machine) and as an Assistant Professor of Music.

At Mason, he teaches 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.

Dr. Nickens 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. These programs include Annandale High School, Thomas A. Edison High School, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Fairfax High School, West Potomac High School, Mount Vernon High School, Damascus High School, South County High School, and Falls Church High School. Other programs include Franklin Central and Warren Central High Schools in Indiana, Farmington High School in Michigan, and the Vision Elite Drum and Bugle Corps in Brooklyn, New York.

Dr. Nickens completed his academic degrees from the Manhattan School of Music, Yale University, and the University of Michigan.