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 to growing and enthusiastic audiences.

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

Jim Chesebrough

Dr. James Chesebrough retired as the band director at Keene State College in Keene, NH in 2018. He received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio, and his subsequent degrees in conducting from the University of Connecticut. For twenty-six years he was a band director in public schools in Ohio and New Hampshire. From 1983 - 2001 he worked as instructor of low brass at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, NH, and was visiting conductor of that school's Symphonic Band in 1999. As a graduate student in 1995-96 and again from 2001-2004, he served as the assistant conductor of the University of Connecticut Wind Ensemble. In 2005-2006 he was the Visiting Music Director of the Yale University Bands and the next year was named assistant professor and Band Director for Keene State College.

As a trombonist, Dr. Chesebrough has made three European tours with the Trombone Choir of America performing in Russia, Germany, and the Czech Republic. He performed with the International Trombone Festival Weekend Warriors Trombone Choir in Helsinki, Finland and the William F. Cramer Trombone Choir at the International Trombone Festivals in Utrecht, The Netherlands and Paris, France. He has played with the New Hampshire Music Festival Orchestra and numerous big bands throughout New England. He studied conducting with Jeffrey Renshaw, Peter Bagley, and Rodney Winther. He is the conductor of the Newmont Military Band, an historical re-creation of a small-town brass band of the 1890s, and has conducted numerous high school festival ensembles across New England, most significantly, the New Hampshire All-State Band in April of 2011. In 2018, he became the conductor of the Winchendon Winds

Dr. Chesebrough has published articles in the Journal of Band Research, in Volume 4 of the series Teaching Music Through Performance, Volume 2 of the series Teaching Music through Performance in Beginning Band, and in Quarter Notes: The Journal of the New Hampshire Music Educators Association. In 2003, Dr. Chesebrough and Dr. Jeffrey Renshaw prepared a performance edition of the “Second Regiment Connecticut National Guard March” by D. W. Reeves, which was published by Ludwig Music.

Other professional experiences include adjudicating state instrumental and vocal auditions, presenting clinics at music conferences, and serving on the New Hampshire Music Educators’ Association Executive Board as Junior High Festival Chairperson and State President. The New Hampshire Band Directors’ Association honored him as their "Outstanding Band Director” in 1998.