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Who's Who: Andrew Verdino

Name: Andrew Verdino

Position & school(s): High School Band and Jazz Band, Middle School and Elementary instrumental lessons.

How long have you been teaching? This is my 11th year teaching.

How long at Monticello? 6th year.

Where did you go to college? I have a Bachelor of Music Education and Clarinet Performance from SUNY Fredonia. My Master of Music Degree is in Clarinet Performance from the Conservatory at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Any awards/accomplishments? Any claims to fame? I have been very fortunate to perform and audition throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. In Missouri, I was a member of the Liberty Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonica of Greater Kansas City. I spent a summer in Utah performing in an Opera Orchestra at the Utah Shakespearean Festival. I spent two summers participated in the Siena Summer Music Festival in Siena, Italy, performing chamber music throughout the Tuscany Region. I regularly play with The New York Wind Symphony based in the Hudson Valley. As a member of this group, I performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City. My most successful auditions were for the Mississippi Symphony and the United States Army "Pershing's Own" Band that performs at the White House. I was one of only 17 applicants to be invited to audition for this prestigious group in 2007.

What’s your favorite part of your job? My favorite part of the job is when music takes over and the details go out the window.
Why did you become a music teacher? I became a music teacher because of my High School Band Teacher.

Did you do anything else before you became a music teacher? After Grad school I was a musician full-time and waited tables to pay the bills. I lived in Kansas City, Missouri for a few years and traveled throughout the US and Europe playing various gigs and auditions.

In your opinion, why do you think music education is important? Music is the only academic subject that requires athletic ability and coordination. Music is also a “social” art form where you learn just as much from your colleagues as you do your teacher.
How has music influenced your life? Everywhere I have been and every life experience I have had has come through music. I have learned so many different things from so many different people. I can't remember the last time I traveled somewhere without my clarinets on my back.

Who is your favorite musician? As a classically trained musician, non-classical music most interests me these days. I want to hear live performances. Anything live and in person; no CDs that can be cut and pasted. Jason Mraz and John Mayer are outstanding live, as well as Trey Anastasio.

What CD is in your CD player right now? Playlists for various gigs coming up and the Broadway Cast recording of “Hamilton”.

What are your hobbies? Driving and playing with my car. News and following politics.

What advice would you offer to an aspiring musician? If you want to make it, you need to go "all-in" and make it your life, otherwise you may not get where you want to go. Remember: there will always be someone better than you, and learn how to practice. Don't waste time learning bad habits - there is already not enough time to practice.