Winchendon Winds Inc Winchendon Winds in concert

Our History

Jon Nicholson

Winchendon Winds was founded in 2015 by Jon Nicholson, Ed.D, an accomplished music educator, music program developer and conductor with sixty-five years of professional experience. For twenty years, until he retired after the 2014 season, Dr. Nicholson conducted the Townsend Military Band, which played weekly from Memorial Day through August each summer. A long-time resident of Winchendon who served as a Trustee of the Beals Memorial Library, Dr. Nicholson believed that Winchendon would enjoy and be enriched by a similar concert series. Many of the musicians in his network were excited and eager to play with the new band, which set high standards for the caliber of the music and skill of the players. Winchendon Winds played five Sunday afternoon concerts in the summer of 2015, beginning on June 7 and concluding on July 5. The audience roughly doubled with each concert. Audience feedback was very positive.

Sadly, Dr. Nicholson passed away in October, 2015. His daughters, the Reverend Inanna Arthen (Unitarian Universalist Church of Winchendon) and Jill Nicholson Sackett (resident of Winchendon) are continuing Winchendon Winds.

Our Conductor

Lucinda Ellert

In the last thirty years, Lucinda Ellert has established herself as a music director known her for flexibility, reliability, clarity and artistic sensibility. A graduate of Grinnell College (1976, Bachelor of Theatre Arts) and New England Conservatory (M.Mus.Ed. 1996, M.Mus. Jazz Arranging in 1988), her musical roots are in the Traditional Jazz scenes of Denver and Boston, first as a ragtime pianist, then as a music director of small and large group early jazz ensembles. She made her name throughout the Boston area for her jazz dance band, Happy Feet Dance Orchestra, as leader and arranger for 20 years. A long-time member on the New England Touring Roster, Happy Feet has produced three albums: Lucinda Ellert and Her Happy Feet, Hop Off, and The River and Me. Her conducting studies started in 2004 with Frank Battisti and Charles Pelz of New England Conservatory with a focus on symphonic wind ensemble conducting. She is the conductor emeritus of the Reading Civic Concert Band which she led from 2004-2016; she guest conducted with Salem State College band and with the Salem Philharmonic Orchestra and was also Assistant Conductor of the Reading Symphony Orchestra for a time.

Currently, she is the music director of the Chelmsford Community Band, a post she has held since 2014; the music director at the Tewksbury Congregational Church in Tewksbury, MA; and was recently appointed to direct the Winchendon Winds, a professional symphonic wind ensemble in Central Massachusetts. She teaches in the Lunenburg School System as an after-school music teacher, teaching piano, wind instruments and voice. She is also Artistic Director of a new Lowell-based orchestra, the Commonwealth Orchestra Outreach Project. Other conducting credits include study with Marin Alsop at the Cabrillo Conducting Institute in Santa Cruz, California, James Orent, Music Director of Newton Symphony and Assistant Conductor of the Boston Pops and with Mark Scatterday at Eastman School of Music.

In her spare time, Ellert is restoring a historic homestead in Winchendon, MA the site of the first 1747 sawmill in the area. The house was originally built between 1790-1820. She and her husband, trombonist Daniel Walker, also have a micro-farm, growing all their produce as well as apples, blackberries and hops. They raise chickens and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of central Massachusetts.