Nicholas Hidy is a French horn, trombone, and composition instructor based in Seattle, WA. Nick was born in Sonoma County, CA where he developed a passion for music. Nick began playing French horn at 10 and trombone at 12 and has not stopped ever since. Nick played in numerous county youth symphonies, local bands, and high school ensembles. From an early age, he became fluent in classical, jazz, and symphonic band forms of music. It was from his early education that Nick knew he wanted to make music his career and begin a lifelong artistic journey.
Nick Hidy began his brass studies under the tutelage of soloist and orchestral musician Daniel Gianola-Norris (Santa Rosa Symphony, Sonoma State University). At 16 Nick became principal horn of the Santa Rosa Symphony’s Youth Orchestra, a regionally acclaimed youth ensemble. With the SRSYO, Nick went on tour to China (playing concerts in Beijing, Xi-an, Hangzhou, and Shanghai) and Europe (playing concerts in Vienna, Salzburg, and Budapest). While with the SRSYO, Nick was the recipient of the Ken Stults Instrument Scholarship—an award allowing a student of outstanding musicianship to purchase a professional instrument. During this time, Nick also founded, managed, and performed with a traditional jazz band: The Rusty Suspenders. In 2016, the Suspenders performed at Sebastopol’s “Cajun Zydeco & Delta Rhythm Festival.” In 2018, this band won first place in the Student Jazz Combo Competition of the Healdsburg, CA Jazz Festival, giving them a spot to perform along side jazz legends Ravi Coltrane and Terry Lyne Carrington.
Following his passion for music, Nick studied French horn performance at the University of California Santa Cruz. Under the direct tutelage of Susan Vollmer (Santa Cruz Symphony, Napa Valley Symphony, Mexico City Philharmonic), Richard Roper (Santa Cruz Symphony, Oakland Symphony) and Charles Hamilton (Berkeley High School Jazz, private instructor), Nick spent his undergraduate career focusing on solo and orchestral classical, chamber, and jazz big-band performance. Nick was featured as a horn soloist in the winter 2019 production of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony no. 5. Additionally, some of his most valuable performance time was spent in the Banana Slug Brass Quintet as bass trombone player. Additionally, Nick was asked by instructor Charles Hamilton and Dawan Muhammad to record a professionally mastered arrangement of Todd Cochran’s “Children of the Fifth Son” for Lifeforce Jazz Composer’s Forum. In the latter half of his undergraduate career, Nick focused more on contemporary and experimental music. Nick worked alongside composer Brian Baumbusch and director Nat Berman to record the world premier of “Isotropes”—a polytemporal work for flexible wind ensemble—released on Other Minds Records. Nick also worked closely with professor Amy Beal and the UCSC Experimental Music Ensemble to virtually/remotely strategize and record Larry Polansky’s “Ensembles of Note” and John Cage’s “Four6.” Concurrently, as a composer Nick released two multi-movement compositions for synthesizer ensembles: “Nature Suite” and “Sixteen Contrapuntal Textures,” both available for streaming/purchase on Bandcamp, Spotify, and Apple Music. Nick was awarded his Bachelor of Music in French Horn Performance with Highest Honors in 2021.
Nick will be beginning his graduate studies in music at the University of Washington in Seattle in fall of 2021. In winter of 2022, the UC Santa Cruz wind ensemble will be premiering one of Nick’s compositions: “Tangents,” under the direction of Nat Berman.
Going forward, Nick wants to dedicate his most sincere and focused energy to teaching music. It was through fantastic teachers that Nick found his love for music; he hopes to evoke musical discovery and passion in his students as well. Nick is committed to working with students to find a pathway into music that is tailored to students’ needs while also pushing them in an educational and challenging way. Nick has experience tutoring and coaching high-school age students at levels ranging from absolute beginner to intermediate-advanced. Nick’s experience in undergraduate education allows him to effectively motivate and guide students towards their personal musical goals.
Outside of music performance and composition, Nick’s hobbies include cooking, and backpacking/hiking. In addition to being a full time student at UC Santa Cruz, Nick worked as a recipe developer and cook at Donnelly’s Fine Chocolates in Santa Cruz, CA. This propelled his interest in cooking—he now hosts homemade pizza parties, grill events, and pursues an active fermentation endeavor. Nick spends his days off in nature: hiking, backpacking, canoeing, fly fishing, or simply enjoying outdoor space.
University of California; University of Washington