Getting to Know You: Jerry Nobile

Have you heard about Jerry? LIHSA’s own Jerry Nobile, Student Support/Admissions/Educator, is being honored with a Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award on May 7, 2024!

Since joining LIHSA in 1995, Jerry has served as a teacher, mentor, guide, cheerleader, and rhythm section accompanist to nearly three decades of performing arts students.

Jerry grew up in a musical household: his mother was a child singer who performed on the radio and his father an amateur accordion player. Music was always an interest of Jerry’s as well. Initially interested in the trumpet, he was inspired by his cousin Matthew at age 10 to try the drums.  And that was it – he put the trumpet aside and has kept a steady beat ever since.

And that beat goes on. Jerry has drummed in just about every musical style and configuration: symphonic orchestras, jazz big bands, jazz combos, regional theater pits, pop and wedding bands, ballroom dance music, and countless times on LIHSA’s stage in support of school performances.

He has been teaching almost as long as he’s been playing. He began teaching privately when he was in high school. When he joined LIHSA 28 years ago, it was as the school’s drum teacher. He has led different ensembles over the years (Jazz, Pop, Classic Rock, Musical Icons, Great American Songbook, Classical Jazz), and taught classes in Percussion/Rhythmic Explorations, music theory, history of cinema scores, audio production, and live sound.

Jerry has many special memories from his long career at LIHSA. “I will never forget meeting Billy Joel several times and having a significant role in one student receiving a scholarship through the Billy Joel Foundation,” he says. Another highlight includes helping LIHSA’s music program get recognized through LI Music Hall of Fame. He takes great pride in the fact that he was featured in Newsday’s Faces of Long Island. Jerry lights up when he talks about his affiliation with Ramona’s Gift to Music (RGM), working with co-founder and LIHSA alum Michael Cuellar and co-founder John Mangione on supporting LIHSA music students’ performances, RGM’s fundraisers and an annual scholarship RGM gives to a LIHSA Music student.

Jerry shared that he is very proud of the relationships he has built within the LIHSA community, including those with colleagues, administrators, board members, students, and their families. “My biggest highlight is hearing about and seeing the successes of our LIHSA graduates,’ he says. “I love keeping in touch with alums and hearing what they have gone on to do. Some of the music alums have told me, ‘You’ve changed my life. The first time I heard that, it took my breath away. It’s quite an eye-opener, because you don’t always know you’re having an impact.”

Jerry continues to reflect on his many years at LIHSA fondly. “Relationship building here is a large part of things. I continue to be so proud of the fact that I’m a part of LIHSA.”

His role at LIHSA has again evolved. This year he oversees admissions for the summer arts academy, helps with the academic school year student admission process, serves as production coordinator for LIHSA theater rentals, edits videos posted on the LIHSA YouTube channel, updates portions of the LIHSA website, chaperones students’ performances, coordinates NYSSMA, is the charter advisor of the Tri-M Music Honor Society and works behind the scenes in many ways to support the school.

Jerry has been with LIHSA a long time but hasn’t been at LIHSA the longest. “My good friend and colleague Francis Lees has me beat!”

Jerry is humbled and thrilled that someone thought enough of him to nominate him for the Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award. He is equally excited about sharing this honor with his friend and LIHSA colleague L’aura Bagdziunas. We are thrilled to salute Jerry on May 7th (and every day). Congratulations Jerry Nobile!