Hedreich Nichols


On Top of the World

Photo Credit: Anita Porché Garcia Photography

You know that feeling when you’ve hiked up a mountain and you can see clearly for a gazillion miles in all directions? Or maybe the feeling of finally finding your inhaler and being able to breathe freely? If not, you still know where this is going, right? This. Is. That. Place. After doing the phoenix-rebuild, slowly over the last 7 years, I’ve finally gotten to That Place. There have been many celebratory highs over the last almost decade, but all have pointed to higher mountains to be climbed. This time, I can rest on my laurels, at least for a minute!

Introducing Hedreich Nichols, semi-retired musician, 6th grade technology teacher and recent Texas A&M MEd graduate (with a 4.0, no less)! This is where I’d like to insert the Bruno Mars Kiss Myself meme. There is just no way to put, jumpin’-up-and-down-thanking-God/Carlton-dance-to-“Happy”-playing-in-my-head/seeing-Michael-Jackson-Live/dog-rolling-in-grass/Spock-not-being-deaddead-in-III elation, in a sentence. Suffice it to say,  I’m really, really excited and grateful!


A Motherless Child (Not)

               Two of my mother-sister-friends

Tomorrow marks the anniversary of my mother’s death. Even more than a decade on, I still feel her absence. When her grandson went to his first semi-formal dance, got a 1 at UIL in orchestra and played E-bass for the first time in the church band, I missed her. When I found a hair on my chinny chin chin hailing my induction into the middle aged momma club, I missed her. When I met a man who knows all the old BC&S songs, I missed her. But; rare are the times I feel like a motherless child. 

I have been blessed with the loving, continuous support of a group of mother-sister-friends who provide wisdom, solace, encouragement and a never-ending list of other good stuff. These women are beautiful inside and out. They are brilliant, witty women whose talents and outlook on life have influenced me since my childhood. They are the best part of my mother’s legacy. She chose friends wisely and their love for her has been passed on to me, engulfing my spirit in motherly love. My time with them, spent in conversation, song or not so shy giggles over the handsomeness of Morris Chestnut, Jesse Williams and Richard Burton always rejuvenates me and fills me with longing for our next meeting. These are women who laugh with me, pray for me and my boy, and who drive or fly hours just to spend time with me. 

In this month when I remember the mother who was gone too soon, I rejoice in the incredible birthright she’s handed down to me and to my child. Ladies, I love you and thank God for your presence in my life!❤️

I Am Legend

20160924_085158This time I opted for a movie title instead of a song title because I Am Woman just didn’t quite say it all. Parenting in any form is not for the fainthearted. For the solo mom it is nothing less than a legendary feat. No disrespect to the solo dads out there but you all have a cheering public fawning over your every youtube video just for combing hair.  DO WE NOT COMB HAIR??

In re-organizing my life to accommodate work, grad school and 330+ days of 24/7 parenting, I have discovered how amazing I really am and I’m not alone. Thirty-four percent of all households are headed by single parents and four out of five of those homes are headed by single moms. That’s a marked change when compared to the stats of even one generation ago. While the demise of the traditional nuclear family comes with challenges, there are many of us making it work gloriously in spite of having to get the car serviced, take out the trash and throw a football in work attire–usually simultaneously. Making it work takes chutzpah, moxie and a whole lot of creativity. It also takes a village (mine is so AMAZING!) so if you see a single mom, show her some love, preferably in the form of a casserole or having her car serviced!

Solo parenting is a reality for a lot of us out here and it’s a big job. But as one unnamed single mom said on social media, in each moment “there’s freedom, beauty, bravery, strength and grace”. Moms, for all you do, this post’s for you!

Forever Young

birthday 2014 aunt JeanI remember being 8. I never thought my birthday and Christmas would “never come”. I never thought about them at all. Time would creep by without my knowing. The year was always full with friends, family, school, performances, summer vacation and days of playing outside till the street lights came on. Suddenly, Thanksgiving would come and with it the first appearances of the Signs Of Christmas. (For my younger readers, there was a time when Halloween did not ring in the Christmas Season.) From that moment on I could not WAIT for My Birthday. Not a lot has changed. I still love My Birthday and wait anxiously for it. This has been a great year after a few really rough ones. Seasons really do change and feeling the warmth of Springtime after a long, hard winter has been amazing! I celebrated my birthday at a ladies’ tea with women who have provided immeasurable support throughout this incredible journey we call life. While my Swissters couldn’t get here and a few key players were missing, the women there reminded me of my connectedness. They reminded me that the only child with neither mother nor father is not alone but a part of a larger circle of love. My birthday was a celebration of life, survival, love and the wonderful thing that happens when friendships blossom and deepen! Those connections affirm that he who walks in the light of love is truly forever young. Happy Springtime, Happy Birthday, Hedreich!

Spring has Sprung

Spring came early this year as Hedreich started the 2013 concert year off on the beautiful island of Kauai. St Michaels was the host of not only two evenings of the finest Jazz but also two Jazz Masses featuring the choral and instrumental arrangements of Grammy Governor Matt Lemmler. All four performances featured incredible international talent in both instrumental and vocal music. Hedreich delighted the crowds with her usual aplomb and charm, even pulling out some mad scat skills together with the phenomenal Greta Matassa.

Marfa Lights

Just as Marfa, Texas is known for it’s preternatural light display, the 3rd anniversary concert of  Padre’s will definitely be remembered for keeping with the region’s reputation! The exceptional idea of having 3 divas in the desert  performing for an eclectic and illustrious audience from just about everywhere, made for a musical manifestation that equaled any one seen on the horizon.  With a red-hot rhythm section carrying melodies from Hedreich as well as Caretta Bell, April Sloan-Hubert  and Horace Alexander Young on Sax, the program was as diverse as it was consummately entertaining.
On another note, this will be the last post before hedreich.com goes 2.0. Nothing too radical, just a few TNG tweaks here and there. Stop back by late Friday for the launch and an interview with our favorite singer by Jeff Strain of Amante International.

How Low Can You Go!

What’s more fun for a choir director than a really good choir? A really good choir with ELEVEN basses! Eleven Good Basses! In a world where lack of male voices is the rule rather than the exception, 11 basses is almost unheard of. In the Stanser ad hoc choir, this was the perfect foundation for the warm and voluminous sound the singers built during a weekend workshop with Hedreich. Covering the spectrum from Hawkins/Donald Lawrence to Newsboys, the audience got to hear a myriad of styles and rhythms from different kinds of music deemed appropriate for church and worship services. Hedreich even managed to include a short history lesson comparing and contrasting field song versions of Negro Spirituals to “Tuskegee-style” European choral versions. The workshop and ensuing concert were the perfect testament to what can be accomplished when fun, fast-paced teaching meets concentration and talent. As for what’s up next? More teaching, more seminars and showcase concerts. Make sure to stop back by or keep up with the minute by minute on twitter or facebook. Better yet, make it a virtual trifecta!

Countowndown to 2012

With ESC a thing of the past and only 3 appearances till the holidays, Hedreich is already working on next year’s line-up. An exciting year with live concerts and master classes, it looks like the singing commuter will be able to rack up quite a few frequent flyer miles! And if you are in the mood for song and comedy, Hedreich will be making her “Mad”-esque debut on Nachtfieber in Olten just before ringing in the new year. It’ll be a great evening of comedy and song. Don’t miss it!

Gospel and the Advent

As previously stated, after this year Hedreich will be based in Texas and will commute to Switzerland for seminars, concerts and studio engagements. That news lent a sentimental note to the recent Glarner Inspirational Singers annual concerts. As they gave a nod to the last 13 years of choir history by including solos from former pianist Christian Menzi and even inviting singers from yester-year up to join the musical fun, the full house crowds clapped and sang along wherever they could. Since Hedreich likes to do interactive concerts, they sang lots and so the Advent season was ushered in with joy!

Choir Director Extraordinaire!

If you think Hedreich is a bundle of energy on the stage, you should see her working her magic with a group of singers. The last three weekends have found Hedreich doing just that and each weekend has borne musical fruit and brought accolades. This coming weekend her own choir, the Inspirational Singers, will be showing off their shine at concerts in Glarus and Glarus Süd. For more information, like the Inspirational Singers at facebook or check out their homepage.