For the past 16 years, Nick Lane guided the Shadow programs, from back when it was simply the Oregon High School Summer Marching Band, through the establishment of Winter Guard and Winter Percussion ensembles, then as the summer program became Shadow Armada, and finally through our growth to participation in DCI as Shadow Drum and Bugle Corps. Late this past summer, Nick accepted a new full-time position as Director of Operations at The Minnesota Center for Professional Development, assessing and approving adult training in early childhood education. With this new position he is stepping away from the Executive Director title at Shadow, though he will be present when he is able.
Nick is the driving force behind the culture established here, and so much of his leadership, charisma, care, and passion inform what Shadow is all about, from our most overarching philosophies and core values down to the little rituals that make our time meaningful and memorable for all involved, past and present. Nick cares immensely for this group's history, and especially for conveying the importance of that history to performers, making sure everyone honors those who came before, the community of which we are a part, and what a joy and privilege it is to get to do what we do.
Nick also instantiated countless Oregon traditions that will echo forever in our hearts, like hearing his effortlessly powerful voice proclaim “Let's take a walk” as the final command before approaching the field, or hearing “GOOD MORNING Shadow Drum and Bugle Corps!”, or going “hands on” in the huddle, or fist-bumping the entire corps before a show, or hearing “Fall in!” at early-morning formation, or calling physical training in cadence (always with a gleefulness that keeps spirits light). His combination of rigorous organization, playful disposition, intensity of purpose, willingness to listen, and a heart so obviously full of love for these performers and this activity all combine to make him a leader we trust without fail, and a voice we hear in our heads when we think of Shadow.
Collected here are moments taken from our annual season video retrospectives (roughly chronological), capturing just a handful of the pre-show huddles, the post-performance speeches, the end-of-rehearsal-day meetings, and the senior dedications. It is not a short video, but it is well worth the trip for anyone connected to Shadow, and it illuminates just a fraction of the debt we owe him.
We invite you to comment with your favorite Nick Lane memories, because his leadership here was essential to so many, in just as many different ways; some beautiful, some hilarious, some life-changing, all deeply meaningful.
Nick, we know this isn't goodbye (and as you remind us in the video, “Nothing is forever...”), but all the same, recognizing how much you have done for us over the years is something we are honored to acknowledge and celebrate.
No one more loudly or more poignantly bellows “BAND, WHO ARE YOU???” ...and no one evokes a more emotional “OREGONNNNN!!!!!” in response.
Lastly — as in some of your closing words in this video, recorded after our final 2018 rehearsal day before DCI World Championships — we may now “...stand at the summit, looking out on clear and easy roads that we're going to travel together...”, but it was always you forging the path for us, putting in extra hours upon hours every day for nothing but love, leading us up the mountain. We cannot thank you enough, and we know we'll be seeing you soon.