Andrew Moses8th Grade
“I remember the first time the band director told everyone to put their mouths on their instrument mouthpieces and blow. It was silent. Eventually I made this very loud squeak.” Laurel Springs School student Andrew Moses recalled this experience from when he was in third grade, and just starting out with the clarinet. Now in eighth grade, he has no trouble coaxing music from his instrument. In fact, he performs nationally, and is a 2013 recipient of the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award.
Andrew grew up in a musical family. His mother teaches voice and piano, and his father was trained as a classical saxophonist. “I grew up immersed in music, and really enjoying it. My parents are very supportive and encouraging.” When Andrew was in third grade, he wanted to play saxophone like his father, but the school band did not offer saxophone, so he took up the clarinet instead. By the time he was in fifth grade, Andrew asked for a dedicated clarinet teacher, and found himself wanting to practice four hours a day. However, his traditional brick-and-mortar school environment didn’t support this level of dedication. “I couldn’t practice as much as I needed to when I was in public school. My teacher would catch me composing in class.” Andrew started at Laurel Springs School in sixth grade and appreciates the flexibility that our student-centered schedule provides.
During the past several years, Andrew has taken his interest in music to the next level. He was recognized at several major classical music auditions, despite being far younger than their minimum age of 16. “I asked if I could try out, and they let me.” These auditions opened doors for Andrew, offering him opportunities to perform and compete in his native Southern California and around the country. “I love traveling – anywhere I can play music and share it.”
Now in his third year at Laurel Springs, Andrew has developed skills for time management that help him fit academics, music, and other activities into his schedule. On a typical day, he’ll practice Tae Kwon Do in the morning (he is a black belt currently testing for his second degree), and then work on some school lessons. The afternoons are usually dedicated to working with his music accompanist and his clarinet teacher. In the evening, he’ll hang out with family and friends, or work on a conducting lesson. “I do as much school as I want each day as long as I finish the week’s lessons by Friday at 5PM.” He enjoys that his teachers can personalize lessons for him. For example, he cross-pollinated pumpkins in his garden as part of his biology work, and composed music pieces in the style of a historic composer for a history lesson.
2013 is a big year for Andrew. He was recently notified that he won the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award, which includes a $10,000 prize and a performance on the national classical music radio program, From the Top. Megan Lantz, Director of the Scholarship Program, said that when they received Andrew’s application, they “knew he would be the perfect fit for our program. His application was really impressive.” When Andrew got the phone call that he had won, “it was so amazing. My family was all around me, almost crying – we were so thankful.” Because classical music training can be prohibitively expensive, with families paying for instruments, lessons, sheet music, travel, and summer training camps, the scholarship program is designed to assist students who can benefit from having these financial barriers removed. Only twenty students are chosen each year, further confirming Andrew’s talent. He will accept the award in June, and perform for the From the Top radio program at the Plaza Theatre in El Paso, Texas. Please check your local listings to see when Andrew’s performance will air in your region.
What’s next? Andrew plans to expand his repertoire so that he can play more pieces at various concerts. He also would like to extend his work in the areas of composing and conducting. If you’d like to see Andrew playing in person, check out his website, which has a calendar of concert events.