Student Spotlight: Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson has just earned 10th chair Illinois Music Educators’ Association All-State Honors Orchestra.


Dillon Jacobson, Staff Reporter

How long have you been playing the cello?

I’ve been playing the cello for 12 years.


What made you first pick up a cello?

When I was 3 I heard Yo-Yo Ma on the radio and I told my mom I wanted a cello. A year later I took my first lesson.


Who is your inspiration/role model? Why do you look up to him/her?

Yo-Yo Ma is an inspiration to me because he is a fantastic cellist and he also does a lot of charity work in underdeveloped countries with his abilities.


What is your favorite composition? Why?

My favorite composition is Brahm’s Viola Quintet #2 in G major because it is a great piece and it’s really fun to play.


How many hours a day do you practice?

I try to practice 1.5 hours per day on weekdays depending on homework and 3 hours per day on the weekends.


Are you a part of any other orchestra aside from WY’s? If so, how long have you been a member of that orchestra?

I am in the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra (CYSO) and I auditioned two years ago.


What seat are you in WY’s orchestra? What seat are you in your other orchestra?

I am the principal cello (first chair) in WY’s chair and I am the eighth chair in the CYSO orchestra.


Where do you hope your skills will take you/Do you want to pursue a career with your abilities?

I intend to pursue a career with my cello and hopefully it will land me a seat in a professional orchestra.


How has taking orchestra at WY helped you get to the level of playing you are at today?

Being a principal chair in any orchestra is a good opportunity to learn and gain experience in that setting. Once a week we break into sectionals, meaning I lead and teach the other cellists difficult measures within a piece, which has really helped me with my own playing.


Do you have any advice for other musicians?