NHS Director of Bands, Mr. Vicchiariello, was placed on Yamaha's "40 Under 40" List
Nutley High School’s Director of Bands, Vincent Vicchiariello, was nominated and placed on the 2021 Yamaha “40 Under 40” list of top music educators in the United States. The “40 Under 40” was established by Yamaha to celebrate 40 of the highest level music educators under the age of 40. Hundreds of educators, nationwide, were nominated by students, teachers, parents, and administrations. "Honored and heart-warmed" by his nomination and placement on the “40 under 40”, Mr. Vicchiariello expresses the privilege and love he has for working in the Nutley music programs.
Now going in his 11th year with the Nutley Public School District, Mr. Vicchiariello has worked with students at many of the schools. He started at elementary schools, Washington and Yantacaw, for five years, then for three years he taught at Washington and John H. Walker Middle School, and now he has been teaching at NHS for the past three.
Currently, Mr. Vicchiariello is the Director of Concert Band, Wind Ensemble (Honors), Marching Band, Jazz Lab, Jazz Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble. He oversees Indoor Percussion & Winter Guard; I also help to oversee all of the band programs districtwide.
Since Mr. Vicchiariello has taught at many different grades levels, his creative and impactful teaching skills don’t go unnoticed among his many students, students’ parents, and the district.
“I was nominated by numerous students and parents who support and believe in me. By being nominated it truly shows how much we do care about each other,” says Vicchiariello, who also received all of the nomination letters that were sent to Yamaha. “These were heart-warming and made me realize that I get to do what I love every day. Not only do I get to teach music, but I get to mold my students into adults and guide them to believe in themselves and anything they want to accomplish.”
Yamaha's article that features Mr. Vicchiariello reveals that in many of the nomination letters students referred to him as “my rock” and “a role model”. Mr. Vicchiariello refers to the Nutley Band program as a family that looks out for each other, while further explaining that, ”this honor only continues to strengthen our ever-growing music department. Nutley has become a place that individuals want to be a part of what we are doing musically.”
Along with his many years of teaching in Nutley, Mr. Vicchiariello was also an alumni of the Nutley schools. His interest in music began in the third grade when he started to play the drums at only 8 years old. Mr. Vicchiariello recalls some of the biggest reasons why he wanted to become an educator. “When I was in fifth grade, I broke both bones in my wrist and was so worried that I wouldn’t be able to play drums since I would be in a cast up to my armpit for two months,” says Vicchiariello. “At the time, my band teacher, Mr. D’Angelo said to me, ‘I don’t care if you are the only one-handed drummer I ever teach, but you will play drums still.’ This showed me that Mr. D’Angelo cared about me as a student and it wasn’t just about music. It made me realize that I wanted to be there for students one day also. All of my music educators from elementary school to college and beyond have helped to mold me into who I am today and have supported me throughout.”
It is clear that the impact of Mr. Vicchiariello's teachers have reflected on him as a teacher today. Mr. Vicchiariello believes that there is much more to being a teacher than just teaching his students. “There are multiple components such as being there for my students, musically, emotionally, mentally, etc. Also, being organized and having an extremely hard work ethic. I feel that my work ethic has ultimately put me in the position that I am in along with my dedication to my work.”
Mr. Vicchiariello also explains the significance of continuing to learn from the people surrounding him and working together as a team. “Having the support from my administrators, family, friends, parents, students and the community is extraordinary. Without all of these things and more, a program cannot be successful. Treating everyone fairly and keeping our family close knit is extremely valuable in our success.”
During the pandemic, connecting and working with students can be difficult virtually, especially in the music world. Mr. Vicchiariello explains that this year, “We were very fortunate to have a fall marching band season. It was not what we were used to, but the students, my staff and I were happy to be playing music together in person, safely.”
Continuing to look out for his students and make sure they are still able to practice music during these unfortunate times, Mr. Vicchiariello says, “ During our classes, we have continued to play our instruments individually, in small ensembles and in lessons. In addition, some virtual performances have been recorded and shared, and some other things are in the works. The students have been great through all of it, but are eager to get to play music in person once again, just as I am. We will continue to push and persevere through these hard times and look forward to being together once it is safe.
Mr. Vicchiariello's placement on the Yamaha “40 Under 40 List” was an honor for himself as the Director of Bands, but he expresses that this is also an honor for the growth of the Nutley music program. Mr. Vicchiariello continues to push for what is best for the Nutley Band programs, looking out for his students as a family.