Nick Riley founded NPR Marching Concepts in 2008 and since then has served as a composer, arranger, educator, and consultant to some of the top marching arts programs in the country. He prides himself on creating innovative, educational, and exciting compositions that students, staff, audiences, and judges all enjoy.
Nick holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio where he studied music education with James Swearingen and Jim Dowdy; percussion with Bob Breithaupt, Nate Anders, and Eric Paton; and music composition with Tony Zilincik and Dr. Dina Lentsner. While at Capital, Nick was a member of several musical ensembles, most notably The Symphonic Winds, Capital's premiere wind band, under the direction of Dr. Barry E. Kopetz. Nick was a member of The Symphonic Winds for all four years of his undergaduate education, serving as Principal Percussionist for three years. Nick performed at the OMEA Professional Development Conference, across Hawaii including at Pearl Harbor, and on numerous recording sessions for Wingert-Jones Publishing.
As a composer and arranger, Nick has over 60 marching arts ensembles to his credit since beginning his writing career in 2007. His ensembles have performed in the finals of Bands of America, Winter Guard International, and Drum Corps International championship events as well as at several local, state, and regional championship contests. Nick's compositions have been credited with helping to propel these ensembles to success.
Outside of the world of composing and arranging, Nick is a full time band director at Liberty Center Local Schools in northwest Ohio where he instructs courses in middle and high school band and music appreciation as well as directs the marching band, basketball pep band, and musical pit orchestra. He has also taught courses in elementary general music, brass ensemble, percussion ensemble, and advanced music theory. Under his direction since 2012, the bands at Liberty Center have seen significant growth in both quality and interest.
Nick is also an avid judge of the pageantry arts as a member of the Central States Judges Association and Ohio Music Education Association. He has judged contests in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee as a member of these associations. Nick has proudly served on the Circuit Championships adjudication panel for the Mid-States Band Association annually since 2017.
Nick currently serves as the President of the ConneXus Performing Arts Association, Inc. and is Development Coordinator and Front Ensemble Technician for ConneXus, a PIW indoor percussion ensemble from central Ohio. Since co-founding the ensemble in 2012, Nick has served in numerous administrative, creative, and instructional capacities with ConneXus including helping to lead the organization to four WGI Regional Championships, two OIPA State Championships, four MEPA Circuit Championships, and reclassification from PIA to PIW in just seven seasons. Nick was Ensemble Director and Front Ensemble Coordinator/Arranger during the 2015 season when ConneXus placed in the Finals of the WGI World Championships for the first time, placing 6th in PIO with a score of 90.938. ConneXus is a four-time WGI World Championships Finalist.
Recently, Nick has had the opportunity to work with some of the top marching arts programs in the world. He served as Assistant Visual Caption Head for the Legends Drum and Bugle Corps (MI) from 2011 to 2013, front ensemble instructor for Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps (WI) in 2014, percussion consultant for The Ohio State University Marching Band from 2011 to 2014, and as a percussion and visual instructor for the Medellin Gran Banda (Colombia, South America), the 2014 DCI SoundSport World Champion. Nick returned to the DCI activity in 2016 as a member of the visual staff for the Colts Drum & Bugle Corps (IA). In 2017, Nick was elected as Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Columbus Saints, a central Ohio SoundSport ensemble. Nick is currently the Percussion Composer/Arranger for the Medellin Gran Banda and continues to serve on both the percussion and visual staff for the ensemble.
In addition to publishing his own music, Nick's compositions for indoor percussion are published through Marching Show Concepts and Gary P. Gilroy Publications. He is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, the National Association for Music Education, the Central States Judges Association, the Ohio Music Education Association, the Percussive Arts Society, and has been an endorsed artist-educator for Vic Firth, Inc. since 2008. He is also proud to be sponsored by Evans/D'Addario, Sabian, and Black Swamp Percussion.
Nick lives in Perrysburg, Ohio, a suburb of Toledo, with his cats Jaco and Jett.