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In Memory of Bob Nicholson

Bob Nicholson, the beloved guard director of the nationally-ranked JMHS band and guard program and instructor at James Madison High School, passed away on September 25, 2020. Bob was with the JMHS band and guard program for 17 years and was an instructional assistant at Madison for over 10 years. He supported many students in a variety of ways, including academic support during the school day and creative and artistic expression with the guard program.

Bob was highly regarded and well respected on a national level in the sport of guard. Since 1995, he was actively involved with the Atlantic Indoor Association which is a non-profit organization designed to support and encourage growth of students in the performing arts, including guard, percussion, and winds. Bob was inducted into the AIA Hall of Fame in March 2016. He was AIA President for six years and 1st Vice President for the AIA North Region. Bob was also actively involved with Winter Guard International which is a premier non-profit organization that produces indoor guard, percussion and winds competitions. WGI is like the BOA of indoor guard, percussion, and winds competitions. Bob taught at AIA and WGI clinics over the years and adjudicated many competitions.

Bob’s success in guard was evident at JMHS. Under his direction, the fall color guard and winter guard racked up awards and accolades every year. At fall marching competitions, the color guard consistently won the caption award for “Best Color Guard.” During the indoor season, JMHS Winter Guard won the Virginia state championship in 2014, 2015, 2016 and second place in 2017. In 2018, Mad Guard placed 4th at the Winter Guard International Regional Competition. The Guard won first place in their division at the 2019 AIA Regional Championship.

Bob’s vision and ingenuity will be sorely missed. He helped create much of the visual aspect of both the fall marching and winter indoor shows. He designed much of the color and movement of the marching shows and sewed many of the flags used by the color guard on the field. He understood the mechanics of dance, movement, and the skills necessary for a successful color guard and at the same time encouraged and guided his students to achieve their best.

There is a bit of light in the midst of our sadness.  Bob's beloved pugs, Angus and Gracie Lou, have a new forever home!  Thanks to the efforts of Lori Baker (Kent's wife) and Bob's and the Baker's veterinarian, a family in Nokesville has adopted Bob's dogs!  Gracie Lou and Angus will be living on a 7-acre farm with a mom and dad, 2 human sisters, a pug sister, a German shepherd, two goats, and a bunch of chickens.  The dad is a dog trainer and vet tech, and the mom and girls immediately fell in love with Angus and Gracie Lou.  They will be well loved and cared for and have the opportunity for plenty of new adventures!

Bob was an integral member of the JMHS band and guard family. He was kind, loyal to the program and his students, and a good friend to many. 

We have established an online memorial site that friends and family can post remembrances, photos, and videos of Bob.  The website can be accessed by clicking here: https://www.forevermissed.com/bob-nicholson/about

Bob's family has created the Bob Nicholson Memorial Scholarship in his memory to provide assistance for students of all income levels to participate in the pagentry, art, and sport of color guard.  Donations to the memorial scholarship can be made by clicking here: Bob Nicholson Memorial Scholarship Fund

Bob's absence will be keenly felt for years to come, and we will greatly miss him.

Rest in peace, dear friend.

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James Madison High School - is located in Fairfax County, Virginia - A Suburb of Washington DC. 

Address: 2500 James Madison Dr. Vienna, Virginia 22181
Phone: (703)319-2300
Fax: (703)319-2397

Quick Contacts

Michael Hackbarth Director of Bands mshackbarth@fcps.edu
Dakota Kaylor Percussion Director djkaylor@fcps.edu
Lija Lusis Guard Director lalusis@fcps.edu
Heléna Klumpp and Sonja Peake Band Booster Presidents president@jmhsband.org
© 2020 James Madison High School Band. All Rights Reserved.

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