A match made in heaven

For Andrea Bandow, the violin just felt right

Andrea Bandow, ArtSci ‘14, had a connection to music starting young.
Andrea Bandow, ArtSci ‘14, had a connection to music starting young.

The violin chose her — or, perhaps, they found each other.

Andrea Bandow, a political studies major and music minor, plays in three orchestras, a string quartet and a chamber ensemble.

She picked up her first violin at age eight.

“It just always felt like it was right,” Bandow, ArtSci ’14, said. “I never really questioned that I could be wrong— it just felt like this is what’s allowing me to grow in my music.”

Music has always been a big part of her life, she said, thanks to her supportive family and musically-enriched upbringing in Hamilton.

She’ll often hang out with her parents in their basement amongst racks of records dating from the 50s onward.

“From the time I was born there was classical music always playing in my household,” she said. “My parents … supported me in whatever I really wanted to do when I was young. It was my choice.”

Bandow joined the East Hamilton Strings while in elementary school.

Before shutting down, it was a district school board program that allowed its students to practice their talent.

By age 11, Bandow was teaching her peers how to play the instrument, and continued teaching until she moved for university.

“It’s the most encouraging when you have students who you see in their eyes that they just love the music as much as you do,” she said.

“They just want to try their hardest to be able to produce the music and grow themselves.”

Not only is Bandow involved in the campus classical music scene, she’s also in the Kingston Symphony Orchestra, a collective of musical professionals in the Limestone City.

The support for this orchestra, Bandow said, is necessary for it to stay alive.

“You have your regular members and donors who subscribe to the season and without their support I don’t know if it would be able to have as much of an impact on the community as it does,” she said.

Although so much of her life has been dedicated to pursuing musical progress personally, Bandow doesn’t intend on following violin as a career path. She has aspirations of going to law school.

“Music, I think, will always be there for me,” she said. “Maybe not in a career role but in a supporting role in my life.”

Since initially being introduced to classical music, the position it holds in her life has changed.

“It’s on a more personal level now … just the music itself can be a relief if I’ve had a hard day,” she said. “I can just go and rehearse something for my own enjoyment and it makes me feel better.”

She balances a full course load, dreams of law school and dedication to an instrument — but her music is never a burden.

“It hasn’t really felt like it’s been a hardship for me in any way. It just comes naturally,” she said. “It would be a lot harder if I didn’t love it as much as I do.”

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