Kenneth Nichols was a music theory and composition teacher, pianist, and Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre. Growing up in Pincher Creek, Alberta, he travelled widely for academic and teaching pursuits, which would eventually lead him back to his hometown where he passed away on August 6, 2021.
Raised in a musical household with regular participation as a chorister and band student, Nichols began his musical studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, studying with Pierre Souverain. Following his training, he continued pursing higher education and professional development studies including: the Banff Centre for the Arts with Boris Roubakine, a Master of Music in piano performance from Indiana University, and finally a PhD from the University of Minnesota studying with Dominick Argento.
In 1962 Nichols began a 34-year tenure at Brandon University as Professor of Music Theory and Composition, and active participation within the music community as an adjudicator for exams and festivals. A founding member of the Manitoba Composers Association, Nichols was also a member of the Canadian League of Composers. He created a catalogue of over 70 compositions including a variety of chamber and musical theatre pieces; many compositions were written for St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Brandon. Major works include: Symphonic Celebration performed by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, as well as the opera Boy in a Cage performed as part of the Music Theatre Ensemble at the Banff Centre.