The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

Bratcher starts 1st semester as director

Nicholas Bratcher

The spring semester ended with the hiring of Nicholas Bratcher as the new director of Visual and Performing Arts.

Bratcher assumed the position in April and is now beginning his first full semester as director of the program. 

After the unexpected news of longtime VAPA director Derle Long’s passing last fall, the program had to adapt to a new environment and structure. 

Bratcher officially moved to Monroe on June 1 to begin his career at ULM.

Bratcher said he had an interest in coming to ULM because he believes the university offered him an opportunity to make more of an impact on arts students. 

“Monroe has an arts culture that, I feel, is largely untapped and bursting with potential,” he said.

Bratcher has a new vision for the ULM arts community, saying that his role will allow him to help address different facets of the program with some very talented individuals.

Students appear to have a positive outlook for the coming year. 

“It is quite strange having a different director after being so fond of Dr. Long, but Dr. Bratcher is so nice and has a lot of new ideas,” sophomore voice performance major Alissa Smith said. “He has been more hands-on with the Sound of Today and the instrumental part of VAPA.” 

Although Bratcher is new to the Monroe area, he brings years of performing arts experience. He started his teaching career in athletic bands at Savannah State University and later worked in concert band ensembles at the University of Georgia. 

From there, he moved to Iowa to assume the director of bands position at the University of Dubuque. His most recent position before coming to Monroe was at California State University as director of bands and coordinator of music education. 

Senior vocal performance major Preston Anderson said that he has already seen some of the efforts that Bratcher has made. 

“Something I’ve noticed is that he has made an effort to go around to more local high schools to inform students about our amazing program,” Anderson said.

Bratcher intends to build on the basis of the VAPA program and move it toward a new vision. 

“I’ve seen some of the legacy that ULM boasts, and my plans are to build on those foundations,” Bratcher said. 

Some of his focuses include building the program’s numbers, providing new offerings within the arts and contributing to the community.

“Dr. Bratcher is becoming such a great fit as our director,” senior vocal music education major Thomaneisha Little said. “I have high hopes and expectations for all the things he plans to do this year.”

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