Nick Molenda studied Jazz Drumset and Percussion at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA, and has been performing & educating for over 20 years.
As a performer, Nick has spent his years fine-tuning a wide array of musical genres behind the drum kit, specializing in Pop, Progressive Rock, Soul & Jazz. Holding the drum chair with such artists & bands as HARPS, Headwaves, Allen Stone, Brett Hite (of FRENSHIP) Tess Henley, & Discs of Fury, Nick has toured extensively performing at venues of all sizes. In addition to fancying a solid pocket in the rhythm section, he made regular practice of offering organizational & technical support to his groups. With HARPS specifically, Nick constructed the bands’ touring rack & fully programmed their Ableton live set, automating remote in-ear-monitors, multiple hardware & software synthesizers, backing tracks, patch changes, & vocal effects in real-time. Presently, Nick can be heard performing with various groups around the Pacific Northwest region & beyond including the Seattle Rock Orchestra. Nick proudly endorses Pearl Drums, Remo Drumheads, & Vic Firth Drumsticks
As an educator, Nick is well-respected in the northwest marching percussion community & beyond most notably from a 7-year stint coordinating the University of Washington Husky Drumline. Continuing standards of excellence established by former UW Drumline coordinator and mentor David Reeves, Nick recruited old friend and colleague Steve Henry to the UW staff, and together the two elevated the level of organization, performance, & recruiting to propel the group from regional to national prominence. As Percussion Caption Supervisor in 2013, Nick also led the Seattle Cascades Drum & Bugle Corps to their highest percussion scoring on the Drum Corps International tour in several years. At the high school level, Nick served as a front ensemble & sound design supervisor for the award-winning Kamiak High School (Mukilteo, WA) WGI Winter Percussion Ensemble in 2012 and 2013 during their undefeated run in the NWAPA regional competition circuit. Nick has also been involved with both the Seattle Seahawks Blue Thunder Drumline & Seattle Sounders FC Sound Wave Band. These days, Nick maintains engagement teaching privately, consults with various groups, & regularly adjudicates for regional marching band, drumline, and solo & ensemble competitions.
In addition, Nick has built a sizable following of drumming enthusiasts on YouTube, gaining world-wide acclaim from a short series of note-for-note transcription performance videos. Perhaps most remarkable was a shockingly accurate replication of a near 5-minute classic Aaron Spears solo from his performance at the 2006 Modern Drummer Festival Weekend of Usher’s hit “Caught Up”. Spears himself lauded the effort via Twitter within hours of the original upload.