Jonathan Nichol, Renowned Saxophonist and Educator, Named Director of OU School of Music

by Madonna

Oklahoma City – The University of Oklahoma School of Music proudly announces the appointment of Dr. Jonathan Nichol, a distinguished saxophonist, educator, and administrator, as its new director. Dr. Nichol has been chosen to lead the esteemed school after successfully serving as interim director during the 2022-2023 academic year. His journey at the University began in 2013 when he joined the faculty as a professor of saxophone.

In response to his appointment, Dr. Nichol expressed his enthusiasm, saying, “The OU School of Music is home to a remarkable community of dedicated faculty, staff, and students. As the director of the School of Music, I am thrilled to lead a program with such a rich history of academic and performance excellence. Teaching and working with our more than 450 amazing students is the best job in the world.”


He added, “I look forward to continued collaboration with my faculty colleagues as we not only uphold our longstanding tradition of excellence but develop new programs to improve the human experience and intersect with modern trends in music education, research, performance, and technology.”


Dr. Jonathan Nichol is not only a visionary administrator but also an accomplished musician. As a saxophonist, he has graced stages both nationally and internationally, earning acclaim as a featured soloist with several orchestras and premiering compositions by renowned composers. He is a founding member of the h2 quartet, a chamber ensemble that achieved the Gold Medal at the 2007 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and the First Prize at the inaugural North American Saxophone Alliance Chamber Music Competition in 2008.


Dr. Nichol’s musical legacy extends to recording and releasing seven studio albums with the h2 quartet, two solo albums, and numerous collaborations with other artists.

His commitment to teaching and excellence in education has earned him the University Distinguished Teaching Award in 2017, recognizing his exceptional contributions to undergraduate teaching. His saxophone students have consistently achieved recognition in prestigious competitions, including the Music Teachers National Association National Chamber Music Competition, the MTNA Young Artist Solo Competition, and the NASA Quartet Competition.

Dean Mary Margaret Holt of the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts lauded Dr. Nichol’s appointment, stating, “He is without question an accomplished musician and educator with achievements on the international, national, and regional levels.” Holt acknowledged Dr. Nichol’s successful interim directorship, which saw the addition of faculty recitals and the recruitment of new faculty members.

Dr. Nichol’s involvement in various committees and his regional service, including serving as the North American Saxophone Alliance’s Region IV coordinator, highlight his dedication to fostering musical excellence.

Furthermore, Dr. Nichol is the director of the Great Plains Saxophone Workshop, a premier summer camp for saxophonists that has grown significantly under his leadership, drawing participants from across the country.

A native of Michigan, Dr. Nichol earned his Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music in saxophone performance at Michigan State University. His musical foundation was shaped by his father, John Nichol, a professor of saxophone at Central Michigan University, where Dr. Nichol received his Bachelor of Music Education.

Dr. Jonathan Nichol is also recognized as a Yamaha and Vandoren Performing Artist.

The OU School of Music, under Dr. Nichol’s leadership, is poised for a bright future, building on its rich legacy of musical excellence. As an advocate for the arts and education, Dr. Nichol invites music enthusiasts to the annual Musical Mosaic Concert on September 21, expressing excitement for an evening featuring a multitude of performers from the school. The event will serve as a fundraiser for the Friends of Music Patron Group, supporting student scholarships and research, and exemplifies Dr. Nichol’s commitment to fostering musical talent and educational opportunities.

The University of Oklahoma is honored to welcome Dr. Jonathan Nichol as the director of its School of Music, and the community eagerly anticipates the continued growth and enrichment of its musical endeavors under his leadership.


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