Blog: Andrew Veit
This week's blog interview is yet again about one of our own from the HMQuartet, Andrew Veit. With his great personality, it is always fun to be around Dr. Veit and to listen to his creativity in conversation. Andrew, amongst teaching studio lessons and performing, is a "sought after" clinician as he has been a clinician in New Jersey, Deleware, Indiana, Texas, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Utah, and Ohio. Visit his website to find out more about him and the many great things he does.
What was the key factor in your career as a musician?
AV: Growing up, I did not have a significant musical environment to help me along. I was the only musician in my family, and I can remember the first day I saw a marimba. It was a 4.3 Kelon Musser and my high school ordered it the first week of my senior year! Needless to say, I had some catching up to do!
What individual or group of people guided you in your passion for music?
AV: One thing my hometown does have is a rich history of jazz musicians. Back in the late 1970's and 1980's Atlantic City, NJ casinos hired many famous musicians from New York and Philadelphia as it was a short drive down from both places. By the time I reached high school the live music opportunities had become almost extinct, but a few older musicians still lived in the area to teach. My music theory and piano teacher, Mr. George Genna, is one such individual. He is an outstanding pianist that toured with Sammy Davis Jr. for the better part of a decade. Having him to introduce and foster a love of music theory put me on the path I still walk today.
What motivates you to do what you do?
AV: The opportunity to make a statement with my music. I want to avoid putting a soap box into this interview, but in today's world it's harder every year for percussionists (and any artist) to be noticed, take a stand, or make a difference. There are missteps I've taken throughout my career, but I've come out with several exemplary performing opportunities. I'm motivated to connect with every audience member, even though it'll be impossible. I'm motivated to pour emotion and meaning into every note I play, even though I'll never be that spiritual. I'm motivated to take every chance I can, although I'll eventually tire. I'm motivated to never give up the chance to connect through music.
What musical instrument do you find fascinating?
AV: Chimes. They're the worst, but for some reason, we keep writing for them. What gives? They're so dang hard to move and almost completely impractical. However, the two words I choose to describe them, 'loud' and 'boisterous,' perfectly sum up percussion music for me. Chimes!, man....
Where has been your favorite place to perform?
AV: The First Unitarian Society, Madison, WI. It's a building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. I am a dubious nerd of architecture, and if I had another chance to stumble through life, I'd be the most peculiar architect.
Please tell us a tidbit more about yourself.
AV: I'm getting married on June 9th, then I will sleep for a week. Do yourself a favor and don't get married, or if you must, just do a small wedding. Dang, I said no soap boxes...
Could you give us a list of upcoming or recent musical and marimba projects?
AV: Recently I had a solo percussion recital on May 24th at Faith Lutheran Church in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. I performed a number of pieces I've worked on throughout my doctoral studies, and two new pieces written for me by my friend and amazing composer, Caleb Pickering. He composed "Bloodworks," a really slick marimba trio published through the Heartland Marimba Festival Publications. I also premiered my new composition "Sheltered" for solo vibraphone and percussion. I was looking forward to this piece as it is my first original composition in over two years. This summer I will be teaching at the Lutheran Summer Music Academy and Festival in Valparaiso, IN all throughout July. I've been a faculty member of LSM for 5 years, and I always enjoy the meeting and teaching of new students as well as performing with our wonderful faculty.
The HMF Blog interviews featuring our people are compiled and prepared by our 2017 intern, Scott Eiklenborg (a percussion student at Wartburg College, Waverly, IA).