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Nicholas Bratcher

Nicholas Bratcher

/ Director of Bands/ Coordinator for Music Education



Dr. Nicholas Bratcher serves as Associate Professor of Music, Director of Bands, and Coordinator for Music Education at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB). There, he conducts the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Chamber Winds, and teaches courses in conducting, music education, and courses in diversity in music studies. 

Prior to his appointment at CSUSB, Bratcher held similar positions as Director of Bands at the University of Dubuque (Dubuque, IA) and Assistant Director of Bands at Savannah State University (Savannah, GA). In both roles, Bratcher helped grow and develop comprehensive band programs with educational outreach initiatives for public school students and directors; as well as several wind and jazz ensemble performance tours throughout the southeastern United States.

​Bratcher consistently works with composers, arrangers, and performing artists throughout the country. Projects with new compositions and wind literature are integral to his creative work. Bratcher is published in the GIA Teaching Music through Performance in Band book series. He is an active guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and performer. Bratcher has presented clinics across the United States and researched wind band pedagogy and literature in multiple countries. Recent professional engagements off campus include serving as the founding conductor and conductor emeritus of the Julien Winds, a professional wind ensemble serving the tri-state area (Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin). In their fourth year, the ensemble performed at Carnegie Hall in June of 2018.  

​Current professional engagements on campus include the design and implementation of a regional honor band festival serving area secondary schools; wind band literature research from various global perspectives including the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Japan, and Trinidad-Tobago; and wind transcriptions of African-British composer, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.

​Bratcher attended South Carolina State University and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music and a Master of Arts in Music Education from Coastal Carolina University. He later earned the Doctorate in Music Education with studies in Conducting from the University of Georgia where he studied with Mary Leglar, John Lynch, and Mark Cedel, respectfully. 

Since Bratcher took the helm as director of bands, the CSUSB Symphonic Band has been recognized for its innovative programming and performances. In addition to performing regional tours throughout the Inland Empire, the Symphonic Band and Chamber Winds regularly champion new works for the medium as well as underrepresented minority composers in their innovative concerts and educational outreach opportunities involving area high schools. In 2019 and 2021, the CSUSB Symphonic Band was recognized as a finalist for College/University Wind Band Performance in the American Prize National Competition for the Performing Arts. That same year, the ensemble was invited and accepted to perform at the Inaugural Emerald Isle Wind Festival in Ireland. However, the opportunity was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bratcher currently serves as the Artistic Director for the San Bernardino Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble, and he is an active member of these organizations: College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), Minority Band Directors National Association, World Association for Symphonic Band and Ensembles (WASBE), National Association for Music Education (NAfME), Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Tau Beta Sigma as an honorary member, and Kappa Kappa Psi where he has served on the National Alumni Association Board of Directors and as National Vice President for Programs (2017-2019).



Ed.D. - University of Georgia (Music Education/Conducting)

M.A. - Coastal Carolina University (Music Education)

B.A. - Coastal Carolina University (Music)


MUS 3810 Symphonic Band

MUS 3890 Chamber Winds

MUS 2114 Intro to Music Education

MUS 3700 Marching Band Methods

MUS 1969 LGBTQ+ Perspectives in Music

MUS 3520 African-American Music

MUS 1865 Hip Hop and Social Justice (starting fall 2023)

MUS 2100 Conducting

MUS 3030 Advanced Instrumental Conducting and Literature



Music Education


Wind Band

Music for Social Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Research and Teaching Interests

Conducting Pedagogy; Wind Band Literature; Minority Wind Band Composers; Music Fraternal Organizations and their Impact on Student Leadership in College Bands; The Effects of Music Education on the Academic Performance of Minority Students in Inner-City Settings; African-American Music Studies; LGBTQ+ Music Studies