Andrew George
1967 - 2021
BORN
1967
DIED
2021

George, Andrew M.

LARSEN/MADISON/LUBBOCK, Texas - Andrew M. George died on Feb. 21, 2021, of complications related to diabetes while visiting in Lubbock, Texas. He was born in Madison, Wis., on Dec. 27, 1967. During the 53 years of his life journey, Andrew was a performer, a teacher, a conductor, an innovator, and always, a learner. From a young age, his personal goals were to conduct and to teach.

Andrew graduated from Madison West High School where inspiring teachers influenced him to transform his musical tastes from KISS to the classical music of the masters and declare his stated personal goal to be an orchestral conductor. While in high school he was a member of the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra and State High School Honors groups of the Wisconsin School Music Association. He particularly cherished his years as a percussionist with the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras and the friendships he developed with teachers, coaches, conductors, other students and their families. Summers found him attending camps such as the UW-Madison Summer Music Clinic, the International Music Camp at the International Peace Garden and Arts World.

Following high school, Andrew went on to complete an undergraduate degree in music education at the University of Michigan, a graduate degree at the University of Wisconsin- Madison, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in conducting from the University of Michigan. Prior to his Doctoral Studies, he taught orchestra and strings in the Madison (Wisconsin) Public Schools for seven years. Performing as part of Spoleto Festival – USA in Charleston, S.C., and Spoleto Festival – Italy became a part of several summers during that time.

His teaching and orchestral conducting at the collegiate level took him to Ohio University, the University of Michigan, and Texas Tech University. His conducting teachers over the years include Kenneth Kiesler, David Becker, James Smith, Marvin Rabin, Martin Katz, Donald Schleicher, Louis Bergonzi, and H. Robert Reynolds. His early music teachers in Madison were Rhoda Rabin and Pat Freed (piano) and Vicki Peterson Jenks (percussion).

While at Texas Tech he developed interest and traveled to Honduras, where he worked with the National Symphony Orchestra of Honduras and its conductor, Jorge Gustavo Mejia. A collaboration grew from this contact and led to performance of Mejia's music by the University Symphony Orchestra in Lubbock. It also resulted in an invitation to bring Texas Tech University's production of Mozart's "Cosi fan tutte" to Honduras – a first ever experience for the wonderful people of that country.

In addition to his faculty positions at three different universities, Andrew was active as a guest conductor, including with the Columbus Symphony, Toledo Symphony, Madison Symphony Orchestra, Wisconsin Middle-level State Honors Orchestra, Hong Kong Lui Ming Choi Youth Orchestra, the MENC All-Northwest Honors Orchestra, and the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra. An active clinician and teacher, he taught conducting at the Conductor's Guild Workshop, American String Workshop, and the "Conductors Retreat at Medoma."

Andrew George was a gifted pianist, percussionist, conductor and teacher.

His friends and family remember him as a person with an inquisitive mind who always wanted to have the latest technology and found unique ways to combine and apply it to enhance teaching, learning and performance. According to friends, "A musical score was his constant companion, as was his permanent '5 o'clock shadow,' a cup of coffee and a friendly greeting."

Andrew is survived by his parents, Lona (Anderson) George of Larsen and Michael George of Madison; his sisters, Dawn Severson (Charles) Schmid and Jennifer George; nieces, Sondra Severson (Alonzo) Robinson, Olivia and Brooke George; and great-nephew, Michael Robinson. He is also survived by several cousins plus a huge family of friends, former students and professional colleagues.

The family requests that memorials in memory of Andrew be sent to Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras to initiate a commissioned work plus scholarships for the WYSO Percussion Ensemble. Checks can be sent to PO Box 258039, Madison, WI 53725-8039 or online at www.wysomusic.org/donate.

A virtual celebration of life will be scheduled later this spring. If you wish to be notified, send a message to [email protected]


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Published by Madison.com on Feb. 28, 2021.
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13 Entries
It's terribly sad to look up an old friend and find his obituary. Andrew and I were friends in high school and kept in touch for many years afterward. After he moved to Texas Tech I lost track of him and kept thinking of how busy he must be and that some day I'd find my old friend again. We shared a sense of humor and I loved his stories and observations about life. His devotion to his students and his love of music was unmatched. I know he will be missed by many and I offer my sincere condolences to his friends and family.
Andrea (Buser) Solomon
Friend
March 17, 2021
My deepest sympathies to Mike, Lona, Dawn, Jennifer, and other family and friends. My memories of Andrew go way back to when I babysat him as a toddler. So sweet, so funny and such a joy! Fast forward to when I had the opportunity and honor to be his colleague teaching strings in Madison. He was a wonderful teacher, so talented and so patient. His influence on those he touched will be felt for a very long time . . . and his presence, deeply missed.
Katherine Punwar
Friend
March 14, 2021
I will miss you little brother. Your music plays on forever. Rest in Peace. Love you, Dawn
March 12, 2021
My heart goes out to Andrew's family at this very sad time. He will be deeply missed.
Mimmi Fulmer
March 6, 2021
I just this evening, learned of Andrew's passing from a colleague of mine, with whom I had taught with at the University of Michigan; I have known both Michael and Lona, Andrew's parents for many, many years, having taught with Michael at the beginning of our teaching careers in Dodgeville; I remember Andrew as a young boy, and throughout his school aged years his Dad, Michael, would tell me about his career, his goals, his love for music. Reading his many accomplishments, one can only sense that he was successful, and that he touched the lives of people in a very special way. Such a shock for someone so young. With sincere sympathy to Michael and Lona, to Dawn and Jennifer and other family and friends.
Tom Dvorak
Friend
March 4, 2021
I am very sorry to learn of Andrew's passing. He was a dear friend from the moment we met in Ann Arbor, and he was wonderfully talented, kind, supportive, and caring. I watched his continued growth and success as a conductor, and I always enjoyed the glowing, endearing, and loving comments from everyone who knew him. The world was a better place because of Andrew, and he will be missed terribly. My deepest condolences to the family.
Steven Byess
February 28, 2021
I am sorry to hear of Andrew's passing. I remember fondly Andrew participating in Gustav Meier's Conducting seminar when he was an undergraduate percussionist/music education student. He went on to pursue his cinducting and teaching passion very successfully. He will be missed.
Andrew Sewell
February 28, 2021
I played timpani on Beethoven 2 for Dr George at Texas Tech. I didn’t own the appropriate mallets for the piece. Instead of telling me what to buy, he lent me a pair of his personal mallets that he had modified himself. He always seemed to be in good spirits and I always believed he was a good person. Very sorry to hear of his passing.
Jason Pace
February 28, 2021
The International Conductors Guild sends our deepest condolences to Andrew's family, friends, and colleagues. Rest in peace.
Jan Wilson
February 28, 2021
My heartfelt sympathy to the family of Andrew George. Former MMSD Music Educator
Donna Berner Fox
February 28, 2021
Andrew and I were fellow students in Vicki's studio and WYSO, at UW-Madison, and colleagues in MSO. He always had a smile on his face, a warm demeaner, insightful comments, as well as a joke or two at the ready. I always admired him for his musicianship and broad knowledge. He was a genuine friend, and he will be truly missed.
Greg Hinz
February 28, 2021
Andrew was taken too soon. But he leaves a legacy of bringing the joy of learning, performing and enjoying music to thousands of students, fellow musicians and wide-ranging audiences. He made this world a better place to be. Rest In Peace, Andrew.
William Richardson
February 28, 2021
Professor George was my first orchestra conductor as a collegiate and aspiring professional musician. He introduced me to some great works and I have several cherished memories from that time. I remember him as a very kind man and an excellent musician leading our group.
Michael Steiger
Student
February 28, 2021