Nicholeris, Diane

Nicholeris, Diane

Professor Diane Nicholeris, a former color guard captain who now performs with a major symphony orchestra will be inducted as a member of the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame class of 2018.  The first violinist with the Grammy Award-winning San Francisco Symphony Orchestra under Michael Tilson Thomas, she will be honored by the Hall of Fame for Distinguished Professional Achievement.

Steps leading to her career in music began with the Sir Thomas Moore Squires of Braintree. She credits her early drum corps experiences with providing the impetus for a highly successful career.

An instructor for students of violin and viola at San Jose University, she began violin lessons at the age of 10, hoping to inspire her father to take up the instrument again. One year after she began lessons, she broke her wrist riding an escalator and needed extensive surgery. Because of the range, motion, and use of the hand that violin playing required, practicing became a good form of physical therapy. Although doctors did not expect her to regain any wrist function she persisted for six years to regain about 70 per cent use of wrist motion.

She studied with Joseph Silverstein at Boston University and Sylvia Rosenberg at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, where she received her Bachelor of Music Degree. Studying at Tanglewood she met Jahja Ling, former Associate Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, who suggested in 1984 that she audition for a violin vacancy. In addition to since providing more than 20 years of service to the orchestra, she has appeared as soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic and the Music Academy of the West Orchestra in Santa Barbara, served as concertmaster for the Monterey County Symphony and enjoys performing chamber music concerts throughout the bay area.

She maintained her connection to drum and bugle corps over the years, occasionally judging contests.

Her childhood wrist injury influences her teaching and coaching techniques through empathizing with students’ problems to help them discover solutions that allow them to feel free to express their feelings through music.