Ensemble Director, program coordinator, Ensemble Specialist, & front ensemble technician
President, CPAA, Inc. Board of Directors
Nick Riley is thrilled to return to ConneXus for his 12th season in 2024.
Currently, Nick serves as the Ensemble Director, Program Coordinator, Ensemble Specialist, and Front Ensemble Technician for ConneXus and has previously held numerous other administrative, creative, and instructional roles since co-founding the ensemble in the summer of 2012. Nick has also served as President of the ConneXus Performing Arts Association, Inc. Board of Directors since 2016. Nick led both the ensemble and design teams each time ConneXus made WGI World Championships Finals for the first time: PIO in 2015 and PIW in 2023.
Nick has been involved in the pageantry arts as a performer, instructor, composer/arranger, ensemble administrator, and adjudicator for 20 years. Currently, Nick is pursuing a PhD in Music Education at The Ohio State University where he is a fully-funded graduate teaching associate for the School of Music. At OSU, he instructs undergraduate courses in music education, instrumental techniques, and supervises student teachers. A classically trained percussionist, Nick earned a Master of Arts in Music Education from The Ohio State University in 2023 and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Capital University in 2011. Prior to pursuing his graduate studies full-time, Nick was the Director of Bands for Liberty Center Local Schools in rural northwest Ohio from 2012 to 2021 where he successfully led all aspects of the band program to prominence.
Nick is the founder of the web-based pageantry arts music design business NPR Marching Concepts: The Music of Nick Riley where he has composed nearly 600 works for over 60 ensembles since beginning his writing career in 2007. A prolific composer for marching bands, indoor percussion ensembles, drum corps, and winter winds, Nick’s compositions can be heard across the United States and South America. In addition to publishing his own work, Nick’s compositions for indoor percussion are published by Gary P. Gilroy Publications and Marching Show Concepts.
Nick is an accomplished adjudicator for the pageantry arts, judging actively for the Central States Judges Association since 2013 and the Ohio Music Education Association since 2012. Specializing in music general effect, music performance, and percussion, he has judged in eight states and has been included on local and championship-level adjudication panels. He has been selected to adjudicate the Mid-States Band Association Circuit Championships annually since 2017.
Nick’s previous staff assignments reflect a diverse background in the pageantry arts. He has served as the Assistant Visual Supervisor for Legends Drum & Bugle Corps (2011-2013), a Percussion Consultant for The Ohio State University Marching Band (2011-2014), Front Ensemble Instructor for Pioneer Drum & Bugle Corps (2014), and Visual Technician for the Colts Drum & Bugle Corps (2016). Nick is currently the Percussion Composer/Arranger for the Gran Banda Drum & Bugle Corps of Medellin, Colombia, South America, where he has served on both the percussion and visual staffs since 2014. The “GB” is the 2014 DCI SoundSport Champion, runner up in 2017, and the first ensemble from South America to perform in DCI events.
Nick is a member of OMEA, CSJA, PFCJ, NAfME, and PAS. Nick holds endorsements from Vic Firth and Black Swamp Percussion.
A native of Centerville, Ohio, Nick currently lives in Columbus, Ohio.