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Lynn Stover Nichols-Clarinet

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Name: Lynn Nichols 

Member Since: November 2019

How did you hear about/find us?
I pulled out my clarinet to play at a high school band reunion (Grissom) in September, and had so much fun playing that weekend, that I tossed around the idea of
playing in a community/adult band, but didn't know where to start looking in Birmingham. As luck would have it, I met Sherrie at work, and the subject came up and she said "I have a band..." and she encouraged me come to the next practice. After one practice, I was hooked and look forward to relaxing every Monday night and playing great music with talented musicians in CCB.

 What is your musical background/history?
I started playing the clarinet in 4th grade in Pittsburgh, moved to Huntsville and continued to play at Whitesburg Middle and Grissom. I also played in the UAH Wind Ensemble during middle school, which was a great experience for me and made me work hard to move up in chairs. I had the usual experience with band: All-City, All-State, Solo-Ensemble, marching and symphonic bands, Flag Corps, many rehearsals, competitions, trips and great friendships that endured over the years. I was headed to UAB for nursing, and realized that I needed to dig more into academics, so band was not a consideration post-high school. (Looking back, I'd do that a little differently if I could get a redo...)

I had the opportunity to "play" with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra a few years ago, well, kind husband and I lived in Atlanta and he did Civil war renactments as part of a cannon crew. His crew was one of 13 who were asked to shoot a few blanks during 1812 Overture at their final concert of the season in Anniston. I wasn't on the crew, but I was tasked with taking photos, as many as I cold, of the cannons going off throughout the song. There was a line of cannons at the opposite end of the field from the stage where the band was playing, but there was a conductor for the cannons in a tower who signaled to each crew. As soon as they shot off a round, they would reload, and each crew shot several rounds. At the end of the song, there was about 2-3 feet of smoke from the blanks surrounding the audience.

 What is your favorite "band song" to play/conduct?
I'm open to anything, but like a good challenge with clarinet "runs". We played 1812 Overture and the Hindemith Symphony in high school. Those are two pieces that stick out in my mind as challenging to learn, and fun to play. My high school band used a then-innovative approach to the cannon, which was a synthesizer developed by one of the euphonium players. That sound could rock the stage and the audience loved it. I also remember the comments from the band members in general when we first looked at the Hindemith in the world do you play this? Our director believed in that a group of teenagers, which gave us the confidence we needed to pull that piece off.

What do you do when you are not playing music? (work/hobbies/for fun???)
I'm a nurse educator and work at UAB School of Nursing. I enjoy exercising and being outdoors, so things like hiking at the many outdoor parks in Birmingham and other places is where you'll find me on weekends. I love to travel and explore, both in the states and out of the country. (I met my husband in Inverness, Scotland and we chose to be married in Waikoloa, Hawaii.) There is so much to see in the world! My husband just purchased a 1933 Ford and I think that vehicle will lead us to many car shows and traveling adventures in the future. In the past decade, we did alot of traveling and sightseeing in the Southeast via motorcycle (Harley Electraglide and Goldwing), but the older we get, the more we like the comfort of traveling via car.

 What type of animal/ breed of dog/cat/bird/fish/other reflects your personality and why?
Definitely a fish, because I have always enjoyed being in/around the water, and love to swim, kayak, go boating, walk on the seashore.

 What is your superpower? 
I don't accept "barriers" as finite and final, I look at them as challenges and then figure out a way to get around/over them. That philosophy has really helped me in life. 

Tell us something fun! You know, like "That one time at band camp..." Or elsewhere. (funny anecdote/story/amazing coincidence/hidden talent/celebrity encounter, etc...) 
I sat beside Mike Brown in high school band. (Big deal, right? Who is he anyway?) About 10 years ago, or so, he made the international news as being a physicist who discovered that Pluto was no longer classified as a planet. (No, I didn't get any extra knowledge by osmosis from sitting beside him, but I remember him as one great clarinet player.) I was also in high school band with two current members of the Atlanta Rhythm Section (ARS) (Dave Anderson and Jim Keeling), and several others who are professional musicians (Ken and Harry Watters, Carla Azar). It is really nice to see them inspiring others with their talents, and I can always remember when they would entertain us on band trips sitting around a pool or on the bus playing their incredible music.
I saw my high school band nurse do the heimlich maneuver on a friend in band on the side of a road in the middle of the night while we were traveling to DC for a competition. She saved his life. I was considering being a nurse, and started talking with her after that about nursing as a career. She became a mentor for me and was instrumental in my choosing nursing and UAB. It's neat how band tied neatly into my future career.

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