He’s more than just an All-State Bass, a highly-trained actor with many leading roles under his belt at only 17, a talented trombone player, and a shining science student, Nick Gladbach is a dedicated artist and scholar and a cherished friend by those fortunate enough to know him.
Gladbach was born on January 30, 2000, and from an early age learned to sing with his parents Wendy and Dennis who sang in the St. Joseph’s Cathedral Choir. Nick has always looked to his dad for inspiration and has always admired him.
“As far as role models go, my father who is a very good bass and a pretty darn good tenor, is a big influence on me,” said Gladbach. “As well as my uncle who has his own band… and of course you [Jack Treu].”
Gladbach has been playing trombone ever since grade school and has fallen in love with his instrument. This year he competed in District Solo for Trombone and received a 2 rating which is described as “Outstanding.” Gladbach played in the St. Joseph’s Interparish Band and now plays in the Helias Band at first Trombone playing with different ensembles when District and State competition come around.
Gladbach not only creates music with his trombone, but also with his All-State caliber voice that has given him many opportunities around the state.
Gladbach started singing in the Helias Concert Choir his Sophomore year, and this Junior year of his, he is the bass section leader. Also this year, Gladbach was accepted into the Missouri All-District choir and the All-State choir as a Bass. Gladbach has a passion and an enthusiasm that he tries to bring out every time he performs. Gladbach has been singing for seven years in various choirs in grade school, high school and church.
“What really started me was, in grade school music classes where everyone was forced to sing, I refused to not put forth effort,” said Gladbach. “I refused to be lazy. When I got to the time you could sing in the church liturgical choir, I said, ‘Sure! Why Not?’”
Gladbach has taken acting lessons from Shea Marie for two years, and that landed him many roles throughout his successful career. He was lead in a play called “Ordinary People,” where he played the leading man at Scene One Theater Company. Gladbach also played the Tin Man in Helias’s production of “The Wizard of Oz.” Gladbach has been performing for more than eight years, but admits he doesn’t always enjoy it.
“It depends on how well I like the performance,” said Gladbach. “If I don’t like the people I’m performing with it won’t be the best for me, and it really depends on how well I feel I know it.”
Most recently Gladbach played the Tin Man, and although his performance was regarded by his fellow cast members and his directors as superb as an actor and performer, Nick is always striving to do better.
“There was a point where I didn’t particularly care for the part,” said Gladbach. “About a week before the show, I sat down and asked myself, ‘Why do I not like it?’ Then I forced myself to love it and it worked out okay!”
When Gladbach is feeling lost or doesn’t know what to do, he sits down and writes or listens to music. When he doesn’t have anything to do, he sits down and writes 8 to 16 bar melodies that come into his head. He also analyzes music of other musicians and studies composers that he likes the work of and applies what he learns into his own songs.
(Nick Gladbach listens to fellow Life Scout Jacob Ceglenski speak about Boy Scouts at a meeting.)
“I attribute a lot of my success to the seniors in choir my freshman year,” said Gladbach. “People like Trent [Ludwig], Conner [Hirsh], Nathan [Raymer], Donald [Hopkins], and of course, Charlie [Colozza]. I still look up to Charlie!”
Gladbach is not only a performer but a lover of performers. The only thing Gladbach loves more than giving a great performance, is hearing, or being a part of one.
“Anyone who I’ve ever sang with who I felt impressed by while still singing, I see as a role model,” said Gladbach. “That feeling you get when you’re holding your note and you’re also thinking, ‘Wow, this guy is so good,’ I kind of want to let other people feel that.”
“I would love for everyone to have that feeling of excitement before a concert for whatever reason” said Gladbach. “I want to share that with others.”
The same as most high school Juniors, Gladbach doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life after high school. Gladbach is an accomplished musician, but he also shines almost as brightly as a science and math student. These two conflicting worlds will eventually cause Gladbach to go down a path that leads him far away from the other and that decision is not weighing lightly on Gladbach.
“I could go and become a director or professional musician and teach people,” said Gladbach. “Or I could go to college for a long time get myself a fancy degree and do research that could benefit the human race, then again music does the same thing.”