West Texas A&M University

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Nicholas Scales Bio
Nicholas Scales

Dr. Nicholas Scales, D.M.A.

Associate Professor

Office: Mary Moody Northen Hall, Room 256
Email: nscales@wtamu.edu
Phone: 806-651-2849

Professional Profile

Nick Scales has served as Associate Professor of Double Bass in the School of Music at West Texas A&M University and Principal Bassist of the Amarillo Symphony since 2005. He is also Principal Bassist of the Utah Festival Opera Orchestra and Musical Theater Company as well as bassist for Polk Street Jazz and The Martinis in Amarillo.  Scales is an accomplished, versatile performer who is comfortable in solo, orchestral, jazz and chamber music explorations. Performance credits include eleven years as core section bass in the Dallas Opera orchestra as well as numerous regional orchestral positions such as substitute performing with the San Antonio, Fort Worth, Tulsa and Shreveport Symphonies. (He has also performed numerous solo, chamber recitals and guest performances and presented many pedagogical clinics throughout his career.)  In 2012, Scales was invited to perform as a faculty bassist at the Orfeo Music Festival in Vipiteno, Italy.

His teaching experience includes adjunct appointments at Texas Christian University and the University of North Texas.  Scales maintains a successful private studio and is highly regarded as a clinician and adjudicator. Academic administrative experience includes positions as Assistant to the Director, Director of Summer Music Institute and Coordinator for String Preparatory programs for the TCU School of Music, and serving as Director for the WTAMU Chamber Music Strings Camp since 2010.  

Academic Degrees:
West Texas State University, BM (1989)
University of North Texas, MM (1993)
Texas Tech University, DMA (2010)

Teaching and Related Service

Scales serves at WTAMU as associate professor of double bass and his teaching duties have included jazz bass, electric bass, jazz ensembles, music theory, music business courses and music appreciation. He has also served as interim coordinator of the music with elective studies in business degree and instructor of string techniques.  Administratively, Scales serves as director for the WTAMU Chamber Music Strings Camp and string area coordinator within the School of Music.

He is active in the Texas music education community. He’s a member of the International Society of Bassists and has served as an adjudicator in the ISB international young bassists competition as well as editor of the Roll Call column in Bass World magazine.

Research and Creative Activity

Scales serves as principal bassist of the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra. He is also principal bassist for the Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theater Company. He is a member of Polk Street Jazz in Amarillo and a regular freelance jazz bassist in the area.  He has given numerous clinics and presentations for various educational programs.

Personal Sketch

Scales lives in Amarillo with his wife Lori, who is the ASO assistant principal double bassist and their two daughters who are involved in instrumental music and the Lone Star Ballet. The house is busy between kids, the Sheltie, a cat, and instruments in almost every open corner!