Raised in the small farming community of Wairoa, Andrew was sentenced to 4 years at Wanganui Collegiate where he studied piano under the late Sonja Wilson. In 1989 he returned to the East Coast for a year learning piano and composition under Roy Tankersley.
In 1993 Andrew graduated from Victoria University with a BMus in composition having studied under Jack Body, Ross Harris and David Farquhar. In 1994, ‘Irritant For a Solo Violinist’ was performed at the Nelson Composers’ Workshop. After working various jobs including playing elevator music in Wellington restaurants to keep himself fed, Andy went traveling for a couple of years. It was not until 2005 that he returned to composing, getting the “music bug” after playing piano and keyboard for local Auckland theatre companies. The highlight of these was North Shore Music Theatre’s 2006 production of ‘Beauty and the Beast’. It was this involvement in musical theatre bands and orchestras which to be a large inspiration in his quirky yet accessible style. In 2005, ‘Toccata for Orchestra’ was played by the Auckland Philharmonia in their Graduate Composers Workshop. This virtuoso showpiece overture takes the audience on a journey of darkness, cheese, melody, laughter and violence. The main current project is ‘Aspects of a Haunted House’, a dark sci-fi horror satire suite (kind of silent theatre with dance and “Grey Gremlins”). Movements 6 (’Orisaldria’s Return’) and 7 (‘Forever we Protect You’) of this symphonic dance/theatre work will be played in the 2007 Auckland Philharmonia Graduate Composers Workshop with the rest of the work to be completed in the new year. Other projects include a solo clarinet piece for Auckland based The Committee’s September concert and also writing a scherzo for New York based concert organist Nigel Potts.Source: Andrew Powdrell, July 2007