Glorious Rebirth pays tribute to Birdie Nichols

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GLORIOUS REBIRTH CHOIR

On Sept. 29 at Laketon Height Church, Glorious Rebirth held a concert for their high school choir teacher and mentor, Birdie Nichols, who came back home to Pittsburgh for this big event. She has not been in her home town for several years.

“Aunt Birdie, we all call her, touched our lives throughout high school and beyond,” said Anna Hill, a former student. “She is far more than just a music teacher. Nichols started Glorious Rebrith Performance Troupe in 1980 with former students from her Westinghouse choir. The choir performed several musical genres including gospel, jazz, blues and tunes. In addition, the troupe also staged musical plays and has performed throughout the eastern and southern United States and with musical heavyweights Nell Carter and Al Green. The group also gives out $1,000 scholarships yearly to a student who chooses to pursue a music career in college.

 

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BIRDIE NICHOLS CONDUCTING THE CHOIR (Photos by Erin Perry)

“Glorious Rebirth performs annually. Its goal is to share an uplifting message of hope, joy and love. Although the group has made a name for itself in the Golden Triangle and beyond the caveat of Glorious Rebirth performing time came when the group did so for Aunt Birdie.” Nichols honed her musical ear on the piano. She began playing at the age of 12 practicing relentlessly each morning, Hill said. Nichols took that dedication into a long teaching career at Westinghouse High School and later at CAPA. Nichols held numerous positions within the educational field including staff development, teacher supervisor and vocal and instrumental coordinator. She holds a bachelors and masters degree from Duquesne University.

With a history spanning 33 years, the Glorious Rebirth shared their love of music at the Laketon Heights Church, spilling harmonious sounds out into the neighborhood through the open front doors. There was nowhere to park as folks filled the pews to experience the special occasion. The legendary Birdie Nichols shared the direction of the choir with other members, each drawing out the passion that the group has for what they do, expressing their love for their Westinghouse High School originated group. The group’s richness stands as a testimony to the creativity and inspiration of a place and its people.

 

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