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 Conductors

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.


Rick Anderson

Assistant Conductor Eric (Rick) Anderson has been a music educator for over 40 years at the elementary, middle, high school, and college levels as well as working with adult learners in private lessons and community bands. While teaching at the high school he founded and conducted for several years the Keene Area Band, a mentor band for young musicians in grades 4 and 5. Rick also served as assistant director of the Keene Elementary Band, an activity designed on the principles of the Keene Area Band. Rick retired the spring of 2015 after 27 years as Director of Bands and music teacher at Keene High School, Keene, New Hampshire.

In addition to conducting school bands Rick has been active with several community bands. While teaching in Vermont he helped to re-form the Hanover-Norwich Community Band (now the Upper Valley Community Band) building on the band’s history and creating a strong musical ensemble. As a performer he is an active trumpet player performing with various ensembles including big bands, concert bands, orchestras, pit orchestras, small ensembles, and general business bands. He has performed for as a soloist for church services, weddings, funerals, and various special occasions. Rick is a regular performer with the Vermont Jazz Center Big Band, the Monadnock Brass Quintet, a former member of the Tom Foolery Band, and is a founding and current member of the Keene Jazz Orchestra. Rick has been active in local and state music organizations and festivals. He is a retired member of the NH Music Educators Association, the National Association for Music Education and was a founding member of the Monadnock Valley Music Festival.

Rick received his Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst. He completed his Graduate studies as a graduate assistant instructor at Indiana University/Bloomington concentrating on both trumpet performance and band literature and conducting. His conducting instructors include Dr. John Jenkins, Dr. William Gaver, Stephen Pratt, and Ray Cramer. His trumpet instructors include Walter Chesnut, Stephen Plank, Charles Gorham, and Allan Dean.