Andrew Wheelock is the Percussion Area Coordinator at the University of Wyoming and is an active performer and composer in classical and jazz genres. Wheelock’s latest recordings include Slow Play by the Ben Markley Quartet ft. Joel Frahm, Away from Home by Gonzalo Teppa, Live at the Iron Post by Justin Copeland, and Accidental Nomad by Dimitrije Vasiljevic. He has performed with Bobby Shew, Chuchito Valdés, Ivan Trevino, Matt Olson, Chip Stephens, Tito Carrillo, Larry Gray, and Bill Sears. Wheelock earned his MM and DMA in Jazz Studies from the University of Illinois and his BME from Central Michigan University.
Rhythm! Scene: If you weren't a university percussion professor, what career could you see yourself having pursued?
Andrew Wheelock: I would have moved to NYC or Miami to pursue a career as a full-time performer/touring musician. If not music, I would have liked to take up a career in carpentry.
R!S: What's one thing in your institution or city/town (other than your school of music or music department) that you are proud to tell people about?
AW: Laramie Wyoming has over 300 days of sunshine every year, and there are beautiful mountains no more than an hour in any direction.
R!S: What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
AW: I love carpentry and have built most of the furniture in my home.
R!S: What is your favorite percussion instrument and why?
AW: My favorite percussion instrument is drum set followed by congas. Playing drum set challenges musicianship in so many ways simultaneously. Also, it requires you to be fluent in every style you are playing because it is most often improvised. In another life, I would play congas 24/7. There is so much history, culture, and depth in that instrument!
R!S: Where did you grow up and what’s one interesting thing about your childhood (musically or otherwise)?
AW: I grew up in Suttons Bay, Michigan. Perhaps the most interesting thing about me is that I was homeschooled until seventh grade and I grew up with five brothers.