C. Nelson Fritts, Jr. has been in the field of Arts Education for the past 37 years. He currently serves as Instructional Coordinator for Fine Arts for the Cecil County Public Schools. His previous positions have included Fine Arts Supervisor for Allegany County, Md.; Music Educator in the Anne Arundel County, Md.; as well as the Hampshire County, WV, school systems.
As a teacher, Fritts has taught preschool to university levels. After graduating from Shepherd (College) University, WV, in 1974, he started his career in Anne Arundel County as general music teacher at MacArthur Middle School. After completing his Master of Music at The Catholic University of America in 1977, he accepted the position of Instrumental Music Director at St. Mary’s Catholic Schools in Annapolis, Md, a position that he held for nine years. In that role, he developed a sequential band, jazz, orchestral, Suzuki and summer camp programs for students in grades 2-12. In 1986, he accepted the position of Director of Bands in Hampshire County, WV, and also began work on his Doctorate of Music at Catholic University. In 1987, he was offered an assistantship at Catholic to complete his degree. In 1989, he completed the degree requirements and accepted the position of Supervisor of Music, Art, Media and Central Purchasing for the Allegany County, Md, Public Schools which he held for seven years. In 1996, he accepted the position of Supervisor of Fine Arts for Cecil County Public Schools. Fritts has also taught Music and Integrated Arts courses as Adjunct Professor at Cecil College and currently teaches graduate music education courses at Towson University.
As a conductor, Fritts has directed ensembles at every educational level from Pre-Twinkle Suzuki strings to university wind ensembles. Under his directorship, his middle and high school band and jazz ensembles have received state and national recognition in performances taking them from New Jersey to Florida. Throughout his career, he has held positions as adult choir, youth choir, and handbell director. He also serves as guest conductor and adjudicator in Maryland. Fritts currently conducts the Delaware Saengerbund, a position that he has held for the past six years. He was recently awarded the co-director position of the Northeastern 2012 Saengerfest to be held in Allentown, Pa. in early June 2012, featuring the Allentown Symphony Orchestra with German choirs throughout the northeastern United States.
Fritts has served as the State Supervisor Representative for the Maryland Music Educators Executive Board and currently serves on the State Superintendent’s Fine Arts Advisory Panel. As a published author, his works have included “An Eclectic Approach to Music Education,” (Musart 28, Winter 1975); “The Historic Development of the Concept of Comprehensive Musicianship in School Bands,” (D.M.A. dissertation, The Catholic University of America, 1991); “Required Skills and Education for First-Year Music Teachers,” (Maryland Music Educator, Winter 2003); and “The Changing Face of Music Education, A Rural Maryland Perspective,” (Maryland Music Educator, Summer 2007).
During his career in Cecil County, Fritts has been the recipient of numerous state and federal grants that have significantly expanded the Fine Arts Program, including the Goals 2000 CREATE, Fine Arts Initiative, University of Maryland K-16; and Maryland Summer Center for Gifted and Talented Students. These grants have provided significant expansion of the Fine Arts program to include Integrated Arts, an instrumental strings program, yearly enrichment programs, technology in the fine arts, and the Upper Chesapeake Summer Center for the Arts. During his supervisory career, Fritts has facilitated the development of more than 20 curricula and assessments in all of the fine arts areas
Fritts has been recognized for his accomplishments in the Fine Arts, Technology, and Gifted and Talented Education by the Allegany County Board of Education, Maryland Music Educators’ Association, Maryland State Department of Education, Maryland State Senate, Cambridge Who’s Who, The Heritage Registry of Who’s Who, Arts Education in Maryland Schools Alliance, and Maryland Association of Boards of Education.
Fritts currently resides in Havre de Grace, Md. with his wife April (also an Arts Educator). He is the proud father of four children, Christopher, Cecilia, Lannon, and Gracelynn.