Monday, November 30 , 2015, 4:19 pm | A Few Clouds 63º

Nicholas Burdick Named New Music Director at Ernest Righetti High School

By Kenny Klein for the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District |

A new music director will bring the beauty of music to the academic world at Ernest Righetti High School.

Nicholas Burdick
Nicholas Burdick

Nicholas Burdick is responsible for the music program with more than 50 students involved in marching, jazz and beginning bands. He also instructs a music history course, designed to capture the interplay between culture, arts and history and provide a deep feeling for what the past was like.

This musician and choir singer believes the special sensation of sounds teaches students vital life skills such as focus, balance, responsibility and team work.

"If they learn form and balance in a piece of music, they can apply that to design, structuring an essay and other tasks,” Burdick said. “Music is one of those things that makes life worth living.''

Burdick plans to strengthen the Warrior musician ranks by building up the beginning band. The band is for students who never played an instrument before or for those who play but have not done it in awhile.

The marching band will participate in field shows, parades and community events, and perform for media television shows and various competitions. The jazz band musicians are headed for concerts and into the community where they can strengthen their confidence and skills by performing at nearby restaurants and public events to promote the band program and help fundraising efforts.

Burdick graduated from Irvine High School in Orange County and played the trumpet in the marching band. He previously taught choir at a school in Indiana, was a band director at a middle school in San Jose and a high school band director in Arizona. He has a bachelor's degree in music from Iowa's Luther College and a master's degree in instrumental conducting.

Burdick replaces Scott Davis, who teaches science at ERHS.

— Kenny Klein is a media affairs coordinator for the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District.

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