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 has been the conductor of the Winchendon Winds since 2018. He received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio, and subsequent conducting degrees from the University of Connecticut. His teachers included Jeffrey Renshaw, Peter Bagley, and Rodney Winther. As a graduate student, he served as the assistant conductor of the University of Connecticut Wind Ensemble. 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. He was the Visiting Music Director for the Yale University Bands in 2005-2006 and became a full professor and director of the Concert Band at Keene State College from 2006 until his retirement in 2018.

As a trombonist, Dr. Chesebrough has performed with the American Trombone Choir in St. Petersburg, Russia; the International Trombone Festival Weekend Warriors Trombone Choir in Helsinki, Finland; the International Trombone Festival William F. Cramer Trombone Choir in Utrecht, The Netherlands; the New Hampshire Music Festival Orchestra and numerous big bands throughout New England.

Dr. Chesebrough has a particular interest in 19th-century band music, which began with his doctoral dissertation on David Wallis Reeves, bandmaster of the American Band of Providence, Rhode Island from 1866-1900. In 2004, he became the director of the Newmont Military Band, an historic recreation of an ensemble from the 1890's. He also performed on tour with the Yankee Brass Band, an historically accurate American Brass Band circa 1840–1870. He has arranged period music for these and other ensembles, including the Centennial Brass Band of Portland, ME. In 2022 Dr. Chesebrough became the director of the Yankee Brass Band for their 35th anniversary season.

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.

For twenty-six years Dr. Chesebrough was a Band Director in the public schools of Ohio and New Hampshire. He conducted numerous high school festival ensembles across New England, most significantly, the New Hampshire All-State Band in April of 2011. 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.

In 1998 the New Hampshire Band Directors' Association honored Dr. Chesebrough as the state's "Outstanding Band Director", and he received an "Outstanding Music Educator Award" from the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) in 2015.

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.