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Visiting his peeps

Canes Nicolas with his wife Kimberly and their newborn son Jayden.1 / 2
Elizabeth Nelson greets Canes Nicolas with a hug after services. (Photos by Naomi Yaeger)2 / 2

Canes Nicolas, former choir director at Chester Park United Methodist Church (2005-2009), was in town this past weekend to observe Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra conductor Dirk Meyer during the symphony's first concert of the season. Nicolas also visited First United Methodist Church to visit his peeps from Chester Park UMC and to show off his new wife and newborn son. His wife is Kimberly Nicolas, a native of Haiti. Their son Jaden was born Aug. 13.

Nicholas attended the University of Minnesota Duluth and received a bachelor's degree in music. Now he and his family live in Lincoln, Neb., where he is in his final year of pursuing a doctorate in music.

The Chester Park UMC congregation joined the First United Methodist Church after the former sold its church building in 2013. "I'm really sad that it is not there anymore," Nicolas said.

Elizabeth Nelson was on the team that hired him at Chester Park UMC. "He grew so much," she said. She laughed as she recalled, "He showed up in September wearing a winter jacket."

Nicolas said that while in Duluth he was mentored by Jean "Rudy" Perrault, director of UMD orchestras and a native of Haiti.

Naomi Yaeger

Naomi Yaeger is a freelance writer and the former editor of the Budgeteer. See her blog at