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John Nichols, Music Director

John Nichols, Music Director

John Nichols was appointed music director of the Quincy Choral Society in 1988. Under maestro Nichols’ direction, membership has grown to nearly 100 members and together they have brought musical excellence to the South Shore and the world.

Originally from Wilmington, Delaware, Mr. Nichols is fortunate to count among his mentors Karel Husa, Gregg Smith, Robert Shaw and Nadia Boulanger. His formal degrees are from Ithaca College and Indiana University with additional studies at the Julliard School and Master Classes with Sir David Willcocks and John Rutter in England.

The Quincy Choral Society has performed most of the major choral repertoire under John Nichols’ direction. Their first performance of the Brahms "Requiem" was praised by Patriot Ledger critic Joel Altman who stated, "This music was driven by a probing intellect, a sense of nobility and a controlled passion of rare intensity."

In 1997 John Nichols led the Quincy Choral Society on their first European concert tour when they traveled to London to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the wedding of John Quincy Adams. Since then, he has bi-annually conducted eight summer concert tours. The QCS has performed at St. Mark’s Cathedral, Venice; Chartres Cathedral, France; St. Nicholas Church, Prague; the Edinburgh Music Festival and other venues in Wales, England, France, Italy, Austria, Finland and Russia. The Quincy Choral Society was the first American choir to be invited to perform at the International Choral Festival in St. Petersburg in 2007. In the summer of 2009, Mr. Nichols led QCS on a tour to Germany and the Czech Republic. They performed in Potsdam, Dresden, and concluded in Prague where they sang the European premiere of the commissioned piece "Songs of Sorrow and Hope" by Stephen Feigenbaum. This piece is dedicated to the memory of all who died at the Terezin concentration camp outside of Prague. In the summer of 2011, Mr. Nichols conducted the Quincy Choral Society on their tour of Switzerland and Austria where they performed at the "Nannerlfestes" with members of the Saltzburg Mozarteum. During July 2013 he led QCS on their ninth concert tour with performances in Basel, Switzerland, Rudesheim, Germany and Amsterdam, Netherlands. In 2003, QCS released their commercial CD "Come, Ye Thankful People, Come" which received national distribution and local recognition from Ron Della Chiesa of WGBH radio.

John Nichols has been involved with the musical life of Greater Boston since 1972 as conductor, performer, adjudicator, educator, composer and arranger. He has performed with Chorus Pro Musica and was an assistant to Alfred Nash Patterson. He has held faculty positions at Curry College, Suffolk University and Governor Dummer Academy. Mr. Nichols is past director of the New School of Music in Cambridge and has been on the faculty of the BSO "Days In The Arts" summer program at Tanglewood.

His arrangement of "Simplify The Season," composed by Kathleen Ready and Brian Kelly, recently was a semi-finalist in The American Prize competition. Mr. Nichols retired from public school teaching in June 2013 after more than 25 years of active service – most notably as choral director and Lead Music Teacher for the Chelsea Public Schools. Mr. Nichols is a trustee for the Lili Boulanger Memorial Fund. He and his wife Jodi, who sings alto with QCS, have been married since 1977. They have two children, three grandchildren and a Golden Retriever named Red.

Virginia Grimes, Accompanist

Virginia Grimes, Accompanist

Virginia Grimes received her piano accompaniment degree from Duke University. She has been the accompanist for the Quincy Choral Society since 1993 and accompanies throughout the Boston area. She is Director of Music for the First Parish of Norwell and teaches piano and accompanies at Milton Academy.

Gingy lives in Milton with her husband, Frank, and her son, Brandon, both of whom are prominent figures in the music world of the South Shore. Gingy’s musical accomplishments are too numerous to list here, but they are highlighted by her ability to play the parts of the entire QCS orchestra for rehearsal, her amazing ability to figure out exactly where John wants to start up in the middle of complicated pieces with Chorus members using several versions of the manuscript, and a little-known talent for singing show tunes in the shower.

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