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Welcome Home, Michael Nicholson!

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Welcoming Home Michael Nicholson

By Alyssa Foresman

Alyssa Foresman is a local writer and blogger. She was a 2015 cast member in Oklahoma’s City’s Listen to Your Mother show, a National show which gives motherhood a microphone. Her blog can be found online at http://www.alyssaforesman.com.

Growing up, our house was the central hub for my sister’s teenage artist/musician friends. Her friends would disappear to her bedroom to listen to the newest post-punk music album, gather in the living room to watch a B horror flick on VHS, or gather in the music room to practice their instruments. If I was lucky, I was included, but most the time, I was the annoying little sister that wouldn’t disappear.

One of my sister’s friends stood apart from the rest, at least to me, because he didn’t mind my presence. Michael Nicholson was four years older than me, and he was the big brother I’d always wanted. We shared a common love, the violin. I’d lie on the carpet, and, for hours, I’d watch and listen to him practice. He spent hours practicing, perfecting his music piece and his posture. While I was perfecting Mary Had A Little Lamb, he was perfecting Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor.

I’d ask Michael to help me tune my violin, almost daily. When I struggled with a violin piece, he rushed over to our house to help me. When I wanted to throw my violin out the window, Michael stopped me. He taught me how to clean my violin, helped me with school book reports, and even introduced me to Robert Plant at a bookstore in Tulsa (I use the term introduce very loosely). Yes, he was my big brother.

It’s been over twenty-five years since Michael tuned my violin. Life marches on, but I will always see him as my big brother and as the violinist I aspired to be like. Michael went on to study music at The University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He performed with orchestras in the North Carolina area, lived on the west coast where he performed with various symphonies and chamber groups, and he recorded with The Bangles and Vitamin String Quartet. He also recorded work for film, television, and commercials. In 2007, Michael returned to Tulsa and is currently Principal Second Violin for the Tulsa Symphony, Section First Violin for Tulsa Opera, and plays with the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas. He is also a Tulsa Youth Symphony Conductor.

Michael returns home to Bartlesville this weekend. He is heading as soloist with the Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra in Saturday’s Wet & Wild performance under the direction of Music Director Lauren Green. Wet & Wild was inspired by the water that surrounds us. Michael will be preforming Vivaldi’s Violin Concerto Op. 8, No. 5, The Storm at Sea, and excerpts from Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade. The evening will also feature bassoonist Jaden Adkins, winner of the 2015 Myrna Hershberger Young Artists Competition. Adkins will be performing an excerpt from von Weber’s Bassoon Concerto.

I am excited to see Michael preform this Saturday, March 5, with the Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra! I hope you will join me in welcoming home one Bartlesville’s all-time greatest violinists. Tickets are available at the Bartlesville Community Center box office or may be purchased online here: http://bartlesvillesymphony.org/. You don’t want to miss this!

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