Michael N. McAndrew maintains an active schedule as a collaborative pianist and vocal coach, currently as music staff with Lyric Theatre at Illinois, coaching staff for Songe d’été en musique in Quebec, Canada, pianist for Central Illinois Youth Chorus, and DuoMotive with flutist, Michelle Li. He has also played with the Summer Harmony Men's Chorus, Tri-Cities Opera, Binghamton Community Orchestra, Penn State Scranton Chorale, the Foothills Opera Experience, and has premiered several new works by student composers. He has worked with artists such as Phil Woods, Randy Brecker, Bob Dorough, the Momenta Quartet, Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek, Jeffrey Wahl, Julie and Nathan Gunn, Ricardo Herrera, Audrey Vallance, Marc Webster, and Maryte Bizinkauskas. Michael was also founder and director/pianist of the Night of Stars concert series, which fundraised for several organizations in the Southern Tier area of New York.
As a composer, he has been hailed as "harmonically gorgeous", with a desire "to hear more from him". He has had pieces premiered by the DeMarina Trio, Plexus Collective, the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, the Bel Canto Children's Chorus, and the Momenta Quartet in various venues such as the Crane School of Music, the Beleura House and Garden (Victoria, Australia), Zoellner Arts Center, ICA's Clarinet Fest, and at the renowned Christmas Vespers at Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem, PA. He was selected as the winner of the Bach Choir of Bethlehem's 2nd Annual Young Composer Competition in 2012, and recently was finalist in the 2019 NATS Art Song Competition for his cycle of the element and in the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies Call for Scores for his orchestral work Sandcastles of Yesterday. The first act of his opera, [i am a city], based on a libretto by Bogdan Mynka, premiered in workshop format in March of 2020.
Dr. McAndrew recently defended his DMA thesis "From Obscurity to New Relevancy: A More Accessible Approach to Samuel Barber's Vanessa", a re-orchestration of Vanessa for fourteen musicians, thus satisfying all requirements for his Doctorate of Vocal Coaching and Accompanying at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While there, he also studied collaborative piano with Casey Robards and Michael Tilley, and composition with Carlos Carrillo. He was also a double recipient of the Nancy Kennedy Wustman Award in Vocal Accompanying in 2019 and 2021. While at UIUC, Michael was assistant conductor for The Rape of Lucretia, and music directed Jason Robert Brown’s Songs for a New World at the Allerton Barn, which saw a repeat performance in January of 2020 after much acclaim. As music staff, he has also taken part in productions of La Bohéme, Crazy for You, Cunning Little Vixen, Cabaret, A Little Night Music, Vanessa, The Turn of the Screw, and The Last American Hammer. He was also Chorus Master for Sinfonia da Camera’s performance of H.M.S. Pinafore.
Michael holds additional degrees from Binghamton University (MM), where he studied composition with Daniel Thomas Davis and collaborative piano with Joel Harder, and Moravian College (BM), where studied composition with Larry Lipkis and Sean O’ Boyle, piano with Barbara Thompson, and collaborative piano with Graeme Burgan. He is active as the collaborative pianist for the Central Illinois Youth Chorus, and is the full-time Director of Music at Faith United Methodist Church in Champaign. He has recently been contracted to re-orchestrate Verdi's La Traviata for the Bay View Music Festival in Petoskey, Michigan.