UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Nicholas John Jadinak

Nick Jadinak

Nicholas Jandinak portraitNick Jadinak was hired in 1948 to teach music courses at UW-RF.  He was a violin player and music educator.  He joined Chauncey King in teaching music at River Falls State College.  Nick was born in 1910 in Minnesota of Russian/Ukrainian immigrant parents.  He received his B.M.E. from the U. of Minnesota and the M.M.E from the University of Idaho at Moscow.  During college, he played in the band.  He first came to River Falls in the 1930s and taught at the high school from 1934-1940. In 1939 he took his high school band to the World's Fair in New York to perform.  Later he moved to Willmar High School in Minnesota and then Central High School in Minneapolis in the l940s.

In 1948 Nick returned to River Falls for the second time and took a position that was half time in the Ames Lab School and half time at the university.  In 1948 the "Ames Lab School" was housed in North Hall; it would not receive its own building until several years later.

Nick taught instrumental music and led the orchestra.  He played violin and practiced every day.  His wife once asked him whether he loved her or the violin more; he wisely smiled and did not answer.  Later he taught Music Appreciation courses.  He liked to perform and played with the St. Croix Valley Community Orchestra for years and played chamber music with Jim Delaplain on piano and Grace TerMaat on cello.  They performed in churches and before other groups.

Nick toured with the College Orchestra and various string groups he established.  In March 1948, he led the orchestra and a string ensemble in a performance in Bruce, WI.  In April 1956 he conducted the college orchestra and a string ensemble in Sheboygan, WI.  Touring was an annual activity in the Music Department and for Nick.

He also loved the outdoors and gardening, and kept a large fruit and vegetable garden behind their home.

Nick and his wife Helen retired in 1975 to a senior center in Harlingen, TX, where he organized a choir and a small orchestra to play for Christmas and other special events.  In 1976 he was elected Vice President of the Harlingen Tourist Society, and the next year he was elected President.  He organized programs each month, and they usually attracted 60 or more people. In addition he taught outreach classes in music a couple of nights a week and stayed active throughout his retirement. He played in the St. Croix Community Orchestra when he came back to River Falls in the warm weather months.

Nick himself was Russian Orthodox and his wife Methodist, but he directed the choirs at local Lutheran churches.  Students were always impressed with Nick's good spirits and dedication to music and teaching.  Room B 61 in KFA, the "Music Theory Room," was dedicated to him and a bronze plaque placed on the wall in his memory.

He died in Texas in 1988.