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Dozens of Alums Sing ‘Our Time’ in Tribute Video for Leo Nickole

As the founder of the Emerson College Musical Theater Department Leo Nickole touched the lives of thousands of aspiring performers.

After Nickole’s passing on April 1, his former students mourned and celebrated his life. They also decided that it was fitting to create a virtual video tribute for Nickole, and dozens of alums came together to perform Stephen Sondheim’s “Our Time” in honor of their mentor.

The video came together after Thom Foley ’92 posted a simple Facebook message with images of Nickole, who he called a teacher, mentor, father figure, and friend.

“Not surprising that most of the photos show Leo where he loved to be, surrounded by his students. Not everyone understood him, but those who did, learned so much from him about theatre…and about life. Thank you Leo! You will be missed,” wrote Foley.

Fellow Lions responded, including Carrie Wykoff ’88, former Musical Theater Society Class President, who said suggested singing Sondheim’s loving song.

Jeff Lagace ’91 and Joe Celli ’91, former Musical Theater Society Class President, reached out to Brian Brodeur, owner of East Main Studios, who worked on several Emerson projects in 1989-1990. The trio worked with dozens of Emersonian alums, including Broadway stars Jessica Phillips and Miguel Cervantes, to make the touching video.

Celli said “‘Our Time” was chosen because it was, for many years, an anthem for the Musical Theatre Society and one that was often performed.

“It’s from Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along and alludes to the excitement of youth and the realities of growing up,” said Celli. “It’s also rumored to have been one of Leo’s favorites.”

The following students sing in the tribute to Leo Nickole:

Heather Brown Anstett ’92
Lakmini Besbroda ’92
Todd Bidwell ’86
Brooks Braselman ’90
Brian Brodeur ’91 (Berklee College of Music)
Alison Bretches ’99
Adam Busch ’94
Barbi Rogan Calusdian ’91
Greg Canestrari ’89
Joe Celli ’91
Miguel Cervantes ’99
Robert Clapp ’97
Christine Jay Collins ’95
Erica Miller Cowan ’92
Elisabeth Depergola ’92
Laura DiGiacomo ’95
Marylee Graffeo Fairbanks ’89
Molly Beck Ferguson ’94
Matt Ferrell ’92
Dan Finnerty ’92
Thom Foley ’92
Michelle Gardner ’92
Michelle Gerard ’94
Susan Giordano Greving ’93
Joseph Guglielmo ’98
Jim Howard ’95, ’01
Mary Kennedy ’94
Kristin Kilian ’92
Lexie Stanton Knox ’92
Jeff Lagace ’91
Brenda Lillie ’91
Jill Lustig ’98
Sara Mann ’97
Aliza Loewy Marlin ’90
Deb Martin ’95
Bridget Mason ’98
Ann Kushner McQueen ’92
Dan O’Brien ’95
Jessica Phillips ’94
Matt Pollock ’90
Alyssa Preston ’94
David Lee Russek ’91
Anya Singleton ’97
Stephanie Jonas Stone ’91
Jim Sullivan ’94
Lee Tennenbaum ’97
Jeanne Tinker ’90
Lisa Vogel ’96
Mike Wachtel ’93
Carrie Wykoff ’88

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