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2024 Yamaha "40 Under 40" educator Nicholas Fields

Nicholas A. Fields

Band Director
Edgewood City Schools
Trenton, Ohio

Nicholas Fields, the Band Director at Edgewood City Schools, doesn’t take the responsibility of his job lightly. “A good band/music director gives students a sense of belonging and helps build character, confidence and discipline. These are all traits that build good people later in life,” he says.

When the district faced a budget shortfall this school year, Fields compared the current budget to those from past years to figure out what were the top priorities.  “It was my goal to make our band fee as low as possible in order to allow the most participation. It absolutely broke my heart that students couldn’t participate due to cost,” he said.

His compassion was also evident when he stepped in to help the high school band when its director fell ill in 2022. “There was no way that I would let the students not have a quality band education and successful season. I pushed them to be their best and to always keep their goal in mind when things got tough. We made OMEA State finals and earned the top rating of Superior, 1 that year. We finished the year with an overnight trip and contest performance at Cedar Point.”

Fields also spearheaded two fun performance events for his students. The Fine Arts Festival showcases the middle school students in the district. “Choir, band and visual arts all collaborate to make this event a special evening of performances and art displays. The festival brings in a large number of our community members and families,” Fields says.

Because he is a percussionist, Fields is especially excited about the Night of Percussion where the high school percussion ensemble performs a full-length concert of percussion-only literature. “We perform in large group settings, small ensembles and even feature soloists,” he says.

Recently, Fields has seen evidence of the long-term impact of being a music educator. “The process of starting a student in beginning band as a 6th grader and actively being a part of their transformation into a talented graduate is awesome. Lately I’ve been blessed to be included in college graduations, weddings, birth announcements, etc. of former students. The fact that I still come to their minds in these moments is humbling and invokes unspeakable pride. It shows me that the work I do doesn’t just stay in the band room or on the practice field.”