Andrew Richardson serves as the Interim Director of Percussion Activities at the University of Oklahoma. Additionally, Andrew is a member of the Norman Philharmonic and is the Oklahoma PAS Chapter president. Andrew earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Oklahoma as well as Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Rhythm! Scene: If you weren't a university percussion professor, what career could you see yourself having pursued?
Andrew Richardson: When I was a kid, someone told me I'd be a good ambassador. I didn't think much of it at the time, but as an adult I have become more interested in politics, so maybe that was a good insight. I've also always been keen on building and repairing drums/percussion; maybe I could have been a carpenter.
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?
AR: Norman, Oklahoma has a nickname, "City of Festivals," because of the many events hosted here: Norman Music Festival, Jazz in June, Chocolate Festival, Earth Day Festival, Aviation Festival, Medieval Fair, and a National Weather Festival, just to name a few. Speaking of weather, Norman is home to the NOAA National Weather Center. OU also has two great museums: a natural history museum and an outstanding art museum.
R!S: What's one thing about you that your students would unanimously proclaim?
AR: I think they would all agree that I start each day with a positive attitude and am always excited to make music together.
R!S: What is your favorite percussion instrument and why?
AR: Whenever I get asked this, I dodge it a bit because it's such a tough question. In college we used to talk about what we would choose if we could only play three instruments for the rest of our lives. I chose marimba, drum set, and steel pan—one mallet instrument, one drumstick instrument, one non-Western instrument.
R!S: Where did you grow up, and what’s one interesting thing about your childhood (musically or otherwise)?
AR: My early childhood was in Fairfax, Virgina, and middle/high school was in Harrisonburg, Virgina. My parents moved to the United States from England, so I spent several summers there as a child visiting family.