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Commander Diane E. Nichols

Cmdr. Diane E. Nichols, a native of Buffalo, New York, holds a Bachelor of Music in Education from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a Master of Music in Wind Band Conducting from Louisiana State University. She has completed the Navy’s Basic Music, Section Leader, Ceremonial Conductor/Drum Major, and Senior Musician courses, and has studied conducting with Anthony Maiello, Carlos Riazuelo and Donald McKinney.

After enlisting in the Navy in 1990 as a trumpet instrumentalist, she served with Navy Band San Diego; Pacific Fleet Band; Atlantic Fleet Band; and on staff at the Naval School of Music.

Commissioned as a limited duty officer (Bandmaster) in 2005, she has served as the assistant director and director of the U. S. Naval Academy Band; director of Navy Band New Orleans; director of Navy Band Southwest; and executive officer of the U.S. Navy Band in Washington, D.C. She has also served as a clinician and adjudicator for school bands of all levels, and has guest conducted and performed in community bands and orchestras all over the United States.

Nichols became the 20th commanding officer of the Naval School of Music on May 19, 2023.  

Nichols’ personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (five awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards), and Navy Good Conduct Medal (five awards).

Last Updated: 29 December 2023

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