WHAT TO EXPECT AT A SHOW:
Andy Schiller is a solo acoustic guitar instrumentalist. When he hits the stage, the first song will be a fast, no-holds-barred flurry of notes, ala Andy McKee’s “Drifting” or Kaki King’s “Playing with Pink Noise”. The percussive techniques and two-hand tapping add a visual element to the musical performance that keeps the audience’s eyes glued to the stage. The set then continues with original compositions. These are melodic finger-style pieces, where Andy obviously draws upon his classical guitar training. The tasteful use of loops and effects in a handful of the songs brings a welcome variety of tones to the set. A few covers from 80s pop groups add a surprising twist to the set of solo acoustic percussive guitar. This is an all-instrumental solo performance… no singing!
Andy also performs strictly classical guitar music from around the world, for weddings and formal events.
ANDY’S BIOGRAPHY in a nutshell:
Upon graduating high school, Andy wrote down a list of the top 5 classical guitarists in the world. A decade later, Andy had studied privately with all 5.
Andy studied the Suzuki Method from ages 7-18, beginning his study of the Suzuki Violin in 1982. Andy got his first electric guitar at age 13, and focused on rock songwriting and acrobatic lead guitar techniques during the 80s. A high-school interest in orchestration inspired him to study classical guitar performance. After performing in Carnegie Hall at age 19 (in 1995), Andy went on to earn a BA in Music Business/Arts Entertanment, with an instrumental focus on Electronic/Synthesizer Music from Siena Heights University. He has also studied in four masterclasses with Sharon Isbin at the Aspen Music Festival, one masterclass with Eliot Fisk at Hillsdale College, a six months of private lessons Jason Vieux at Cleveland Conservatory, four masterclasses with Benjamin Verdery at the Hawaii Festival, and five years of private lessons with Ricardo Iznaoloa at the University of Denver. Andy has also lived in Rome, Italy and performed 4 concerts as a resident solo artist with the Rome Festival Orchestra. He has also appeared as a soloist with the Adrian Symphony Orchestra. In the summer of 1995, Andy lived in Paris, France, studying language and Art History. In the summer of 1996, Andy lived in Sao Paulo, Brasil, informally studying and performing Samba music. He has been teaching full time in Boulder for 12 years for Robb’s Boulder Music, and has also taught for the Colorado Music Festival and the Rocky Mountain Center for Musical Arts, and the famous Herb David guitar studio. Andy has been an Adjunct Professor at Siena Heights University as well as Adrian College. He currently teaches at OZ’s Music Store in Ann Arbor, MI.
Andy is a percussive fingerstyle acoustic artist, who adds electrtic guitar, bass, banjo, mandolin, ukelele, fiddle, (or any other stringed instrument), as well as samples and loops to his pieces. He feels comfortable playing bluegrass or blues, metal or acoustic, Celtic or Brasilian, Classical or Postmodern. A band he is currently coaching, Locoboco, performs rock songs in Danish. His instrumental compositions have been chosen by playwrights, ad agencies, therapists, and compilations. He has released three CDs of solo acoustic guitar music. His latest, Horizons, was recorded by three-time Grammy winning producer, Tom Wasinger. Andy’s latest music video featuring acoustic percussive guitar “Behind Those Eyes” is featured on his YouTube channel. http://www.youtube.com/andyschiller. He is currently writing, performing, and recording songs at Epicenter Recording studios with Mike Binder and MGB Records.
A Certified Pro Tools Operator, Andy has engineered for Scharren Studios, AudioMatrix, Denver Musician’s Union Studios, the Toledo Symphony, and Strawberry Fields, Omega 13 records, and Atlantis Studios. He also owns and operates BeyondGuitar.com, a website featuring his own video guitar tutorials.
ANDY’S LONG BIOGRAPHY:
I am originally from Montague, Michigan, where I began studying music on the violin at age 7. My interest was sparked after attending an orchestral concert with the West Shore Symphony. My mother made the long drive to Fremont every Tuesday to take me to violin lessons with Anna Land. For ten years, I learned the Suzuki method up to book 5. Later, lessons focused more on Celtic and Irish fiddle tunes. In high school I was a member of the West Shore Youth Symphony. My brother Tony and I shared our first electric guitar together during middle school. This gave me the opportunity to experiment with sounds and develop basic technique. I listened to guitarists like Randy Rhoads and Joe Satriani, mystified by their use of classical counterpoint, complex chord progressions, and their use of acoustic and finger style guitar. Forming many bands through high school, I played original compositions and 80’s rock tunes. The band “Scourge” won the Campus Life Battle of the Bands in Whitehall, Michigan in 1993. I also picked up the twelve string guitar. I did not have guitar lessons at this point, so I was a completely self-taught player, and my compositions were purely written by ear, and followed no formal rules.
I attended Siena Heights University near Detroit, Michigan, where I earned a BA in Music Technology. I was able to study under a very modern approach, including music business, electronic music, experimental jazz, and recording technology. Through the University, I began an internship working for the Toledo recording studio Scharren Recording. This later turned into my first full time job as an audio and video engineer. I spent years under the wing of Dan Schroeder, grammy winning pro tools engineer. I went on later to work for AudioMatrix, Strawberry Fields, and OhioMedia, as well as engineering for the Toledo Symphony. I entered some local talent shows with my electric guitar, an effects pedal, and a phrase sampler. Many assignments for the electronic music courses required composing synth pieces. Somehow I managed to find time to play second violin the school quartet. It was during this time that I began the intense study of the classical guitar, playing a master class with Eliot Fisk. My senior year, I performed with the Siena Heights Men’s Choir and Madrigal Ensemble in Carnegie Hall.
After graduation, I accepted an adjunct faculty position of Instructor of Guitar at Siena Heights University, Adrian College, the Jackson Symphony Orchestra Community Music School. I continued to teach at the college level for the next six years. It was during this time that I formed the Ann Arbor Hard Rock band “Climb”, which opened for national acts such as Taproot and Funktelligence.
Then I moved on to the graduate schools at the University of Toledo and the Cleveland Institute of Music, and made my living as a classical guitar instructor. I managed a few bands, including “The Caustic Pop”, one of Billboard’s top ten unsigned bands in 1999. I also released a compilation CD of the best local bands the I had recorded in my pro tools studio, and continued to collaborate with musicians from my home town in West Michigan. I released two solo CDs of original instrumental acoustic guitar music – Impressions and Corridors. Impressions is a meditation CD of acoustic guitar. Corridors is part solo classical guitar, part celtic guitar, and part acoustic blues complete with bass and drums. This was a very busy time in my life, because my solo act was the “house band” at two local establishments. This show featured solo instrumental acoustic guitar and the Boomerang phrase sampler (and sometimes hand percussion). I started the record label “Omega 13 Records”, and released a compilation CD of the bands I had recorded.
I took the next summer to travel, perform and study in Italy with the Rome Festival Orchestra. While in Rome, I studied with Stephan Traini, instructor at St. Mary’s conservatory of music. I performed Vivaldi’s Concerto in D for Guitar and Chamber Orchestra, as well as Suite Brazilian by Heitor Villa-Lobos and Robert DeVisee’s Lute Suite in D minor. Upon returning to the States, I performed Vivaldi’s Concerto in D for Guitar and Orchestra with the Adrian Symphony.
The next summer, I was chosen as one of ten musicians (from a field of over 1,000) to study at the Aspen Music Festival, hosted by Julliard’s Sharon Isbin. There I studied and performed James McGuire’s Canzone in E minor, as well as two original pieces, “March of the Butterflies” and “Far Away”. I relocated to Colorado to follow this opportunity, and to form the band Boulder Acoustic Society. I wrote, arranged, and recorded most of the songs. This band became a national act. I later joined Deep Green Nation (led by Jeff Brinkman), a roots-rock band that went on to record with Denver-based Grammy-winning Bendiksen Productions. We played many concerts throughout Boulder and Denver, and recorded two albums.
The next summer, I attended the 2005 Hawaii Guitar Festival, where I attended three master classes with Yale’s Benjamin Verdery. I performed Bach’s Prelude to the fourth Lute Suite in E Major, as well as a few original pieces which I later recorded and called “Horizons”.
During 2006, I developed a relationship with Fluid Rhythm Entertainment, which has recorded such acts as Delisco, a finalist on the reality TV show “The Entertainer”. I gained film score experience by working with the Grammy winning crew at Bendiksen Productions on the soundtrack to the History Channel Special “The American Forest Service”. Beside arranging and printing parts for the orchestra, I played guitar one one track, “Ashikan Farewell.” The music was added to the film at Skywalker Sound in L.A. At the beginning of 2007, I began recording Birth of Jubal, a hardcore band out of Longmont Colorado. We’ve mixed in Pro Tools, and experimenting with the T-Racks mastering plug in, as well as Stephen Massey’s “Tape Head” plug in. Crimson Reigns, a hardcore band from Greeley Colorado, has finished their recording with me. You can hear their music at http://www.myspace.com/crimsonreigns.
In 2008, I recorded my own original compositions for solo classical guitar at Subterranean Studios just outside of Boulder, with the two-time Grammy winning producer, Tom Wasinger. The CD “Horizons” was released on March 16, 2008 and is available on CD baby. I am currently recording my fourth CD entitled “Pinnacles” with Mike Binder at Epicenter studios in Boulder. Mike has had many songs on the iTunes top ten. In fact, he’s had two songs on the top ten in the same week. We’ve produced my first music video, “Behind Those Eyes.”
In 2013, I earned my Suzuki Teaching Certification up to book 4. This has opened up many opportunities for me, and my students have benefited greatly from the experience. My website BoulderSuzukiGuitar.com features a clear explanation of the Suzuki Method, my studio policies and schedule, and video performances. My student Jaden Carlson started Suzuki with me at age 6, and by age 12, has not only become a professional musician, but a national act. My former student and bandmate Jeff Brinkman has become a national act, appearing on “the X-Factor”. My student Johnathon Ballou has completed a classical guitar degree at Pepperdine University. My 14-year-old student Rory Martinelli has established a successful band as well, Apollo’s Masterpiece.
I currently own and operate BeyondGuitar.com, a video learning site, started in 2007. This site now features links to YouTube lessons, and features over 400 lessons by 8 teachers. I have taught at Robb’s Boulder Music for 12 years, as well as Mojo’s Music Academy in Longmont, the Off-Broadway School of Fine Arts, and the Mountain View United Methodist Church.
In 2017, I was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Gospel Music from the Los Angeles Development Church and Institute.