Andrea Ryan

Music Ed major, Violin primary

Family, Friends, and Background

My family and friends are extremely important to me; they provide the day-to-day support in everything I do. My mom and I are especially close; we've gone through a lot together, and we became friends in the process. My family consists of my mom, who is a doctor, her partner, an office manager, my 17-year-old brother Neil, my dad (also a doctor), his wife JoAnne, an administrator at Volunteers of America, and her two daughters Brooke and Kelly. I was born in Baltimore, MD, but moved to Rochester, NY when I was fairly young.

My really good friends I met in my youth orchestra. I think the joy of sharing really good music, and all working hard towards that common goal really brought us together. I'm sure all the nerdy music jokes we've made didn't hurt.

Exciting Experiences

I have had the opportunity to play in Carnegie Hall. As a result of achieving a high score in a National Merit Scholars Piano Exam, I was invited to play with other piano honors students. I had a blast playing Beethoven's Piano Sonata in G major. While we were in NYC, my family and I went to see the Broadway production of Phantom of the Opera. It's my favorite musical along with 'West Side Story,' and I didn't stop smiling the entire time.

When I was a junior in high school, my youth orchestra toured Ireland. We traveled through and played in Killarney, Kilkenny, Dublin, and Galway. It was a wonderful musical experience for us to share American music with another culture, and we had a lot of fun bonding on the trip!

I have also had the amazing opportunity to conduct and rehearse a chamber orchestra. The director of my youth orchestra, Mrs. Nancy Strelau, led us as we were leading rehearsals and gave us pointers for our conducting technique and rehearsal efficiency.

Two summers ago I attended Luzerne Music Camp, a four week program designed to intensively improve musicians in solo, chamber ensemble, and orchestral playing. The orchestral playing was my favorite; our conductors were incredibly inspiring, and level of musicality was far beyond anything I'd experienced.

Keeping Score - Shostakovich Symphony 5 (1/6)


During my senior year of high school, I made it a goal to try as many instruments as I could. In addition to violin, piano, and voice, I played viola, cello, bass, trumpet, horn, trombone, bassoon, and saxophone. Although horn is one of my favorite instruments, I achieved much more on the trumpet, and convinced my friend to lend me his second trumpet over the summer. Having no trumpet books, I transposed some songs from my Suzuki 1 violin book. I sound awful, but I had a blast.

I love giving hugs. Getting hugs is good too, but there's something about raising someone's mood with a hug. I have almost a policy with my friends and acquaintances. I don't want anyone to tell me their problems unless they are 110% positive they are comfortable sharing. But unless they are equally sure they don't want a hug, I will hug them.

I am in love with Christmas. Especially caroling. There's just so much cheer at Christmas, and I have a lot of fun thinking of the perfect gift for the people I love. In high school, the last day before Christmas break, I would wear a green shirt, black leggings, and my Christmas tree skirt - literally the skirt pulled out from under the Christmas tree and tied around my waist.

I like being in nature. I love getting caught in the rain, and splashing in puddles. I like gardening, even weeding, and the feeling of dirt under my fingernails. I love walking barefoot, on grass or concrete. I love climbing a tree and reading a book up in the branches. I enjoy sitting on benches and soaking in the sun, even though I usually get sunburned.

A Charlie Brown Christmas - Opening