Nicholas Morrison

Caine College of the Arts
Cazier Lifetime Achievement 

Dr. Nicholas Morrison is Professor of Clarinet in the Utah State University Department of Music where he also serves as music director of the USU Summer Alumni Band. Since joining the faculty in 1991, he has taught clarinet studio, coached chamber music, and assisted with rehearsing and conducting large ensembles, including Symphonic Band and Symphony Orchestra. Morrison served as Senior/Executive Associate Dean of the Caine College of the Arts from its founding until 2020, as Associate Dean in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, as Interim Head of the Department of Music, as Interim Director of the Interior Design Program, and as Interim Director of the University Honors Program.

He has been a Visiting Professor of Music at the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill, and, with flutist Leslie Timmons, has been a periodic artist-in-residence at Whitehorse High School on the Navajo Reservation in southeastern Utah for twenty years.

Prior to coming to USU, Morrison was an assistant director with the Band of the Fighting Irish at the University of Notre Dame and began his career as a music teacher, clarinetist, and conductor at Ecole Ste. Trinité in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

He serves as principal clarinet of the American Festival Orchestra under the direction of Craig Jessop and is frequently called as a substitute or extra clarinetist by the Utah Symphony. He has performed with the South Bend, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Grand Teton Festival, and Utah Festival Opera Orchestras. A founding member of Logan Canyon Winds, USU’s faculty wind quintet and of the flute-clarinet duo ~AirFare~ with Leslie Timmons, he has premiered works by composers including Libby Larsen, Bill Douglas, Adam Gorb, Valerie Coleman, Keith Gates, Jeff Scott, Dennis Griffin, Phillip Bimstein, Roger Zare, and Philip Parker, and has performed and presented sessions for the National Flute Association, the International Clarinet Association, the American Orff-Schulwerk Association, Music Educators National Conference, National
Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors, the College Band Directors National Association, and the Midwest Clinic. He is frequently called upon as a performer, adjudicator, clinician, and guest conductor and is a D’Addario Performing Artist.

Morrison has received grants to support professional work from the Marie Eccles Caine
Foundation, the Marie Eccles Caine Foundation—Russell Family, the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, the United States Information Agency, the US Department of State, the Presser Foundation, the Dana Foundation, the Dayton Hudson Corporation, the City of Logan, the Brannen-Cooper Commissioning Fund, Caine College of the Arts Differential Tuition, and the Utah Arts and Culture Business Alliance, in addition to helping to raise endowments for the clarinet studio, the band program, and Logan Canyon Winds. He was awarded the Albert J. Colton Fellowship by the Utah Humanities Council in 1997 for research and presentations on historical clarinets and performance practice.

His community and professional service includes the boards of the Chamber Music Society of Logan, Flute-Clarinet Duos Consortium, Cache Children’s Choir, and the Rotary Club of Logan, Utah, for which he chairs the Dictionary Project Committee.
Morrison holds degrees from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the University of Notre Dame, and Florida State University and has studied with Curtis Craver, Donald Oehler, Scott Bridges, Sidney Forrest, Freddy Arteel, John Bruce Yeh, and Frank Kowalsky. Other mentors throughout his career include his junior high band director Virginia Lee Sikes and many current and former students and colleagues at Utah State University with whom he has been honored to spend his career.

Nicholas Morrison Photo
Nicholas Morrison