Rising Star Andy Hudson

On Sunday, November 5, 2017, the Northshore Concert Band begins it’s 62nd season of musical excellence with Star Wars: A New Hope.  This premiere program will feature Andy Hudson, a virtuosic rising star on clarinet.  He will be featured on Michael Daugherty’s Brooklyn Bridge, a thrilling aural depiction of the New York landmark.

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Performances by clarinetist Andy Hudson have been hailed as “a treat for the listener” and praised for “an uncommon singularity of purpose, technical virtuosity, youthful vigor and a mature sensitivity.” Based in Chicago and active internationally, Andy has performed at the International Clarinet Association ClarinetFest, the World Congress of the International Alliance for Women in Music, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Music Teachers National Association Conference, Constellation Chicago, and regional gatherings of the College Music Society, the Vandoren Clarinet Ensemble Festival, and the North American Saxophone Alliance. A frequent soloist,

Andy has recently performed concerti of Weber, Gandolfi, Mozart, David, and Copland among others. Andy has received invitations to perform at the Lucerne Festival Academy in Switzerland, the Bang on a Can Summer Festival, the Hot Springs Music Festival, and the Belgian Clarinet Academy. Andy was the grand prize winner at the 2008 MTNA National Senior Woodwind Competition, and has also won the Sewanee Summer Music Festival Concerto Competition, the MTNA Southern Chamber Music Competition, and both the Columbus State University and Northwestern University Concerto Competitions.

A fierce advocate for new music, Andy presented at the 2017 New Music Gathering, has premiered and commissioned dozens of works to date, and has performed with Chicago Symphony Orchestra MusicNow, F-PLUS, a.pe.ri.od.ic., earspace, 10th & Broadway, and the Zafa Collective. Andy is currently an Instructor of Music at Northwestern University, where he teaches courses in Music Theory, Aural Skills, and 21st Century Music, and a Lecturer in Music at Lake Forest College. Additionally, each summer he joins the Artist-Faculty of the Tennessee Valley Music Festival in Huntsville, AL. Andy is a current DMA Candidate at Northwestern University, where he also earned the Master of Music degree. He previously earned the Bachelor of Music degree from Columbus State University. Andy’s primary teachers have included Steve Cohen, J. Lawrie Bloom, and Lisa Oberlander.

 

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We know that you will enjoy this exclusive NCB interview with Mr. Hudson.

Please tell us a bit about your journey in music and in life.  I was born into a family with a Choir Director for a mother and a recovering-hippie Bass Guitarist for a father. Because of this, I learned to love a wide variety of musical styles from an early age, and I still maintain a deep love for both the classical and popular music realms! I took up the clarinet and the guitar in elementary school, and I can honestly say I never dreamed I would be lucky enough to still be performing.

What have been some of your musical influences?  I think most often of those who have poured themselves into me throughout the course of my career. I’ve had so many great mentors, people like Mallory Thompson, Steve Cohen, Lisa Oberlander, Eric Mandat, and Lawrie Bloom. I feel a deep desire to honor their investments in me and to pay it forward by empowering future generations of musicians to realize their potential.

Please share a bit about your favorite musical memory?  There are too many to count! However, one recent performance I found very meaningful was Northwestern SWE’s performance at the CBDNA National Convention in Kansas City. We performed a powerful program of repertoire that dealt with themes of identity, love, loss, hope, and innocence. To share this moment in a beautiful concert hall, surrounded by people I love, was truly stirring.

What’s on your iPod?  A little bit of everything! Recently, I’ve been listening to Bartok, Bon Iver, Kendrick Lamar, Debussy, Brand New, Caroline Shaw, and The War on Drugs. I also love folk music and Americana, but I’m always looking for something new to inspire me. New music is like fresh air!

Which composer/musician – past or present – would you most like to meet for a coffee and why?  Igor Stravinsky. As far as I can tell, The Rite of Spring is musical perfection, and The Soldier’s Tale is one of my all-time favorite pieces. Stravinsky worked in a vocabulary wholly distinct from his contemporaries, and his music still feels remarkably fresh to this day.

What does music mean to you?  Music is not meant to terminate on itself, but rather it must be leveraged to enact as much good in the world as it can. While I take tremendous joy in my own practicing and performance, I feel that music is something I can offer the world. It can bring peace or beauty into a world that desperately needs it, or it can provide a vessel for interacting with and processing the pain we encounter. Music can be a tremendous force for healing and for good. As the saying goes: “Perhaps it is music that will save the world.”

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What do you do to relax?  I love to bicycle, run (distances from 5k to the Marathon), and hike whenever possible. I find that enjoying a physical hobby allows me to channel the intensity of the music process in a way that energizes and refocuses me. I also try to spend as much time as I can with my wife and two kids! Together, we love to listen to records, cook, and watch movies – especially Finding Dory.

Do you have any advice for young musiciansLearn to love the grind! Music is a process, and even as we progress, we never really arrive. Each day we must strive to be better than the day before, and if we can learn to love the process – not just the results – then we have a real shot to love and make music for our whole lives.

Please share any thoughts that you may have about the Northshore Concert Band.  The Northshore Concert Band is amazing! During my Master’s Degree at Northwestern many years ago (I won’t tell you just how many!), we had the opportunity to perform a side-by-side of “Dionysiaques” with SWE and NCB. The love of music, excellence in performance, and community dynamic that NCB embodied have made that performance a treasured memory. I’m simply delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate with Mallory Thompson & the NCB for this upcoming concert!


A special thank you to Mr. Hudson for generously sharing with us his thoughts and experiences! Please visit his website at www.theandyhudson.com to learn more about this rising star!


Don’t miss Andy Hudson’s solo clarinet performance during Star Wars: A New Hope, 3:00 pm November 5, 2017 concert at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall on the beautiful Northwestern University campus in Evanston, Illinois.  Reserve your seat today!

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Musicians & Music

Meet the extraordinary men and women of Northshore Concert Band who have dedicated their lives to making music!

KELLEY GOSSLER

Kelley Gossler

Kelley Gossler plays the Clarinet and has been with the Northshore Concert Band since 2011. She is a music teacher and lives in Chicago.

When and why did you start playing?  I started playing in 5th grade because almost everyone joined band!

What do you enjoy most about playing?  It’s fun, I love working towards a bigger goal and hearing everything come together.

Do you have a favorite musical memory? Too many to choose from!!!!

Who was your most influential music teacher?  It’s difficult to choose just one teacher! My first greatest influence was my high school band director, Mr. Bixby. He made music incredibly fun and pushed our band to play at a very high level which was very satisfying. Another incredible influence has been Dr. Thompson! She was my mentor during my graduate degree at Northwestern and has proven to be an incredible teacher and role model.

Do you have any advice for young musicians? Learning an instrument takes a lot of work! Keep on trying, ask for help, listen to great performers, and never give up! And of course, make sure you’re always having fun and enjoying what you’re doing.

What makes performing with Northshore Concert Band different than performing with other groups?  My two favorite things about Northshore Concert Band is our commitment to excellence and the wonderful camaraderie within the band.  

List three words to describe the Northshore Concert Band  Friends, music, challenge

 

Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at http://www.northshoreband.org

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews of Northshore Concert Band members in this Musicians & Music series!

 

Musicians & Music

Meet the extraordinary men and women of Northshore Concert Band who have dedicated their lives to making music!

MANUEL RAMOS

Manuel Ramos

Manuel Ramos plays the Clarinet and has been with the Northshore Concert Band since 2015. He is a Private Lesson Coordinator at Merit School of Music and lives in Chicago, Illinois.

When and why did you start playing? I started when I was 10 years old because my friends and I wanted to join the school band!

What do you enjoy most about playing? Creating connections between music and people. I think of it in terms of interpretation: You’re using your own musical words to create a personal understanding which you then pass on to the next person.

Do you have a favorite musical memory?  When I was 16 years old, my high school took a trip to Sydney, Australia to premiere a Frank Ticheli work at the Sydney Opera House. I knew from that moment I wanted to perform for the rest of my life.

What are your musical influences? I’m not sure it’s a what but more a who! When I was younger I heard a clarinetist by the name of Sabine Meyer and haven’t stopped listening to her since. She’s a German clarinetist who has a career as an international soloist, talk about inspiring!

Who was your most influential music teacher? My high school band teacher, Michael Hutchinson. He was crass, hard-working, and wouldn’t settle for a mediocre performance. His challenging me set the standard for my work ethic today.

Does anyone in your family play music? Not professionally. My mother played violin for ten years when she was younger and my father dabbles in drum playing from time to time.

What’s on your iPod? A large variety spanning from Mozart and Brahms to popular music such as Drake or The Weeknd. I also have a soft spot for bossa nova music from artists like Bebel Gilberto!

Do you have any advice for young musicians? Practicing is never measured in quantity, only quality.

What makes performing with Northshore Concert Band different than performing with other groups? Some groups have a cap to their limits but the NCB is always growing.

List three words to describe the Northshore Concert Band. Education, Engaging, Inspiring

Please add anything else that you would like our readers to know about you. When filling out college applications my original plan was to go to Emory University and study medicine!  

 

Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at http://www.northshoreband.org

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews of Northshore Concert Band members in this Musicians & Music series!

Musicians & Music

Meet the extraordinary men and women of Northshore Concert Band who have dedicated their lives to making music!

TYLER HOLSTROM

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Tyler Holstrom plays the Clarinet and has been with the Northshore Concert Band since 2014. He is a Private Instructor and lives in Mokena, Illinois.

When and why did you start playing? I started playing clarinet when I was eleven years old. My sister had started playing clarinet the year before, and this was my next scheme to one-up her in every way possible!

Do you have a favorite musical memory?  My favorite musical memory is my final wind ensemble concert as a student at the Chicago College of Performing Arts. The program was incredibly challenging: Ryan George’s “Firefly,” Ingolf Dahl’s Concerto for Alto Saxophone with Northwestern alumnus Sean Hurlburt, Florent Schmitt’s “Dionysiaques,” and Karel Husa’s “Music for Prague 1968” (which you heard at our season-opening concert, Zero to Sixty). It required countless hours of hard work from every member of the ensemble, but the reward was tremendous!

What are your musical influences? It goes without saying that Dr. Mallory Thompson is an incredible musical influence in my life, pushing me to perform at levels I didn’t even know I was capable of and enlightening me with countless new ideas every week. Aside from Dr. Thompson, my musical influences include Charlene Zimmerman (my former clarinet teacher) and Stephen Squires.

Who was your most influential music teacher? Professor Stephen Squires at the Chicago College of Performing Arts. After working with him in high school, I was blown away by his incredible musicianship, keen ear, and outrageous sense of humor. He’s the reason I chose CCPA, and continues to be a huge influence in my musical life.

Does anyone in your family play music? Nope! My sister quit playing once I beat her in chair placements in junior high.

What’s on your iPod? Exclusively classical and instrumental music: a lot of Dvorak, Barber, Britten, and Prokofiev. I also have a massive playlist of all my favorite band pieces, which gets played on constant repeat. Unfortunately, there’s just not enough room for all the music I love!

Do you have any advice for young musicians? Always keep pursuing music! There are always opportunities to play and be involved in music, even if you decide to do something else professionally.

What makes performing with Northshore Concert Band different than performing with other groups? Playing with Northshore Concert Band was a dream of mine since the first time I heard the band as a child. In Northshore Band, you get to perform repertoire of the highest quality at a ridiculously high level – an experience that is hard to find outside of military bands. It’s also a great way for those of us who are not pursuing a performance career to keep playing great music with great people every week.

Please add anything else that you would like our readers to know about you.  Fun facts about me: 1) I have an obsession with the aliens from Toy Story (“The CLAAAAAAW”). 2) One of my life goals is to own a French Bulldog. 3) My parents have come to every single one of my concerts since I started playing the clarinet in 2003. They may not have been awake for the whole concert, but they were there!

 

Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at http://www.northshoreband.org

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews of Northshore Concert Band members in this Musicians & Music series!