Rolling with the punches, Nicole Chamberlain (b. 1977) has been flexible in carving out her own path in both her life and career. Her initial plan was to become an animator who composed original soundtracks, but the original plan that 18-year-old Chamberlain set for herself did not turn out to be the dream she wanted after all. At the age of 32, she left a career in web and graphic design to pursue a financially insecure life as a full-time composer and flutist. More than 10 years later, she plows ahead realizing this is the adventure she really craved.
She earned a B.M. in Music Composition and a B.F.A. in Digital Media from the University of Georgia to attain the skills needed to be a successful composer and animator. At UGA, she learned how to craft music compositions from Dr. William Davis, how to be a joyful and determined flutist from Dr. Ronald Waln, how to use technology to her advantage, and how to find her own unique voice in a crowded field.
In 2018, Chamberlain collaborated with flutists Dr. Mary Matthews and Matthew Angelo to release a debut album of her music on the MSR Classics labelled titled Three-Nine Line. The album received excellent reviews including: "The music of Nicole Chamberlain is exciting and vibrant." (The Flutist Quarterly) "Being a virtuoso flautist herself has informed her ability to write for the instrument with thrilling facility and endearing charm." (Gramophone Magazine) Chamberlain's music "heavily utilizes extended techniques [that] play into the theme or story of each piece to sonically enhance its meaning." (The Flute View)
Photo: Heather Damaske
This has put her in demand as a composer for the flute. She has had works performed at multiple National Flute Association conventions, where several pieces have won NFA's Newly Published Music Awards. In 2018, her piece Chivy for flute choir won the National Flute Association's Flute Choir Composition Competition. She also won the 2013 Areon Flutes International Composition Competition, was awarded 2nd place in the 2014 and 2016 Flute New Music Consortium Composition Competitions, and received 1st place in the Flute View's 2015 Composition Competition.
Chamberlain has also gained notoriety as a composer outside of the flute community. Shortly after leaving her career in web design, Chamberlain won "Audience Favorite" at the Atlanta Opera's first 24-Hour Opera Project for her opera "Scrub-A-Dub Raw." This resulted in the Atlanta Opera's first-ever commission of Chamberlain's children's opera, "Rabbit Tales," which received over 50 performances and gave traction to her career as a composer. Chamberlain has also been commissioned by ensembles and organizations such as the Georgia Symphony Orchestra, Fort Dodge Area Symphony Orchestra, Oklahoma Flute Society, Gonjiam Music Festival, Maryland Chamber Winds, Emory University Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the Hopewell Middle School Symphonic Band, among others. Chamberlain is open to composing for all instruments and ensembles and will jump at the chance to take on new opportunities that offer different challenges.
Chamberlain has been fortunate enough to evolve as a performer who is known locally in Atlanta and beyond. She has performed with the Georgia Symphony Orchestra, LaGrange Symphony, Gwinnett Ballet, Georgia Ballet, Capitol City Opera, duoATL, Terminus Ensemble, and Perimeter Flutes. Chamberlain's favorite part of performing is traveling and meeting new friends as a guest artist and performer at various universities and festivals. She has been a guest artist at St. Cloud State University, Kansas State University, Colorado State University, the Savannah Flute Fair, University of North Alabama, and many others. As a Powell Flutes Artist, Chamberlain is supported in bringing her music to national and international audiences. She wouldn't trade her Powell Conservatory 9K Aurumite Flute and Powell Handmade Custom Grenadilla Piccolo for the world.
Currently, Chamberlain balances her time composing, teaching flute, performing, and avoiding graphic design work as much as possible. She lives in Doraville, GA with her husband, guitarist and composer Brian Chamberlain, and pitbull, Gerty, who longs to be a social media influencer. The Chamberlains have their own independent music publishing company, Spotted Rocket Publishing. You can catch Nicole on most major social media platforms and read more about her at www.nikkinotes.com.