Alumni Spotlight: John Niiler, BS ’23

John Niiler was recently appointed as the first Assistant Director of Orchestras at Travis High School in Sugar Land, Texas!

John earned his Bachelors of Science in Instrumental Music Education from the University of Alabama in May 2023.

While completing his degree, John received the Most Outstanding Student Award and graduated summa cum laude. He played cello with the Huxford Symphony Orchestra, Early Chamber Ensembles, Undergraduate String Quartet, and the UA cello studio. He played in masterclasses for Brinton Averil Smith, Felix Wang, and Greg Sauer. John was also an active participant of the Community Music School. He gave private cello lessons to many students, served as assistant conductor of the Campus Orchestra, and taught at multiple youth String Summer Camps and Adult Strings Weekends. John was also one of the conductors for UA’s inaugural Music Education Ensemble. In addition, John served as Treasurer and Vice President for the Alabama CNAfME chapter.

During his time at UA, John served as principal cellist for the Starkville Symphony, performed with the Destin and Tuscaloosa Symphonies, and was hired to play and solo for countless church orchestras and events across the southeast. He was selected to be an apprentice in the 2022 and 2023 National Music Festivals in Chestertown, Maryland. John completed an independent conducting study with Maestro Joseph Lee and has conducted UA’s Music Education Ensemble, Campus Orchestra, Huxford Symphony Orchestra, and public school orchestras across Tuscaloosa. John completed his student teaching internship at Northridge Middle, Northridge High, and Central High Schools. He won the Strings in Schools Scholarship multiple times, as well as the Rogers Dean Scholarship, and a UA School of Music Scholarship. John also served on the St. Francis Music Ministry Team for one year.

When asked about his time at the University of Alabama School of Music, he stated:

“My time at the UA School of Music has been an enriching and rewarding process. UA has done a great job helping me grow both personally and professionally. I feel equipped to teach orchestra at all levels. I am going to extremely miss Tuscaloosa and all the people I got to know so well at UA. Roll Tide!”

We have loved getting to be part of Mr. Niiler’s journey as an educator and have full faith he will excel in his new position.

Congratulations, John and Roll Tide!