NICHOLS, TED (b. 1928)

Theodore "Ted" Nichols (born October 2, 1928) is a composer, conductor, arranger, educator and minister of music. He was born as Theodore Nicholas Sflotsos in Missoula, Montana to Nicholas Theodore Sflotsos and Josephine Ellen Sflotsos. He was raised in the Greek Orthodox Church and Catholic churches, (1928-1946) later becoming an Evangelical. Ted's parents moved to Spokane, Washington where he graduated from John R. Rogers High School. He then joined the Navy, where he was trained as an aviation electrician. During specialist training in Jacksonville, Florida, he played saxophone in the Navy swing band, he also plays the violin and clarinet. He was later transferred to Corpus Christi, Texas, where he founded, directed and played in the base swing band. In 1948, he legally changed his name to Theodore Nichols. After meeting his future wife, Nichols surrendered his life to Christian music ministry.
After leaving the Navy, Nichols attended Baylor University received his BM (1952). Upon commencement of Korean War he joined the Air Force ROTC program. Upon graduation, the Air Force sent him to Sampson Air Force Base in New York where he founded and then became Commanding Officer of the Air Force Bandsmen Training School, recruiting musicians from Eastman School of Music, Julliard School, and other Eastern music schools.
After the military service, Ted returned to Corpus Christi, founded and directed the Corpus Christi Youth Symphony while teaching in public school, and earning his M.A. at Texas A&I University. Wanting to work on a doctorate and having a desire to compose for films, Nichols and family moved to California.
In the mid 1950's Nichols began work in public schools in California then moving onto Santa Ana College as Band Director (1958-60). He became a "Dapper Dan" at Disneyland, and actually had coffee some mornings with Uncle Walt in the coffee shop on Main Street. Later he became Director of Bands at Cal State Los Angeles (1960-72) and later became Head of the Department of Music at Western Conservative Baptist Seminary, Portland, Oregon (1975-82).
Nichols served as Minister of Music (1960-72) at Church of the Open Door (4,000 attendance on Sunday mornings) while J. Vernon McGee was Senior Pastor. From 1972-75 Nichols became Musical Director of Campus Crusade for Christ. He and Doris traveled to Europe and South America supervising many musical groups. Later Nichols served in churches as Minister of Music in California, Oregon, Arizona, Washington (1982-2009).