About Andrew Everson

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I have been Director of Music at St. Joachim Catholic Church in Costa Mesa CA since 1990. There I direct 4 choirs and manage music for weddings, funerals and masses/liturgies of all sorts. The majority of my energies are poured into the 10:00am and 5:00pm English masses each Sunday as well as the 12:00 Spanish Choir.

I also teach Music Appreciation to grades K-5 for St. Joachim School. Through the years I have served under 4 pastors and 4 school principals.

I play most Stringed and percussion instruments and sing tolerably well. To that end I spend two afternoons per week offering private lessons at Fullerton Music on every stringed instrument ranging from violin/viola/cello to banjo, and mandolin, and even straying further off the beaten path to the Andean Charango and the Chinese Er-hu.

Before moving to Southern California I was raised in Colorado Springs Colorado with my 8 brothers and sisters. I graduated from William J Palmer High School in 1979 where I participated in marching band to jazz band, and earned a spot in the '79 edition of "Who's Who In Music". I went on to earn a 2-year degree in broadcasting as a back-up in case things did not work out in music. I soon discovered that both fields were brutally competitive and poured all of my energy into music.

Most of my education from this point was private as I studied violin for several years, first with Prescilla Paeche, and then with Don Robinson (Concert Master of the Colorado Springs Symphony) I also took several years of vocal, ear training and composition with Bob Crowder (Colorado Springs Children's Chorale) Growing up I had a big thirst for musical knowledge but not a lot of money to obtain it. My general approach was to make appointments with a variety of great musicians who would spend time with me either pro-bono or cheaply. I would regularly approach a performer after a show and schedule time with them. At age 11 I would take a bus trip accross town to meet with a contact, all on my own dime earned doing odd jobs to support my musical thirst. I can't enumerate how many times this happened for free/really cheap and the cumulative conglomerate of tips, hints, habits and overall knowledge gained from this approach touches everything I write and everything I play. I found that really great musicians are generally quite generous with their time when someone who approaches them for knowledge is serious about learning. (And, perhaps a bit on the desperate side financially!)

During all of this time I continued performing with Catholic choirs in and around Colorado Springs including Mount St. Francis, Holy Trinity and St. Mary's Cathedral. I also maintained my passion for all kinds of roots music playing Celtic, Western Swing, Bluegrass, and Romani (Gypsy) music in a number of small bands. I spent most of the early 80s as a pit musician for the Iron Springs Chateau in Manitou Springs which afforded me the opportunity to play all of the instruments I could muster every night. The late 80s were spent in an excellent cover-band called 'Shrink-to-Fit' which played an incredible variety of Country, Blugrass, and Folk music with a heavy emphasis on vocal harmonies.

My most beloved instrument has always been the 5 string banjo and I was forging into uncharted territories with the instrument in the late 1980s. You can see me performing with 'Shrink-To-Fit" on banjo by clicking here.

I produced an album (on vinyl!) called Sea to Sea and then a Cassette ('remember those?) called "Banjo in a Breifcase" which showcased the banjo in an alternative rock format. I then moved to Southern CA to persue this project in hopes of becoming the world's 1st rock star on the banjo. (A title which was destined to be held by the great Bela Fleck)

I recorded more of this music in Southern CA with Gold Record Producer Richard Mouser and was on my way to showcasing the project in LA when things took a dramatic downturn. A nagging right hand overuse injury called Focal Dystonia (click for more details of my saga) slowed my playing to a crawl and after consulting every sort of medical specialist, alternative medicine specialist, Carpal Tunnel MDs and some other goons and Gurus I eventually had to give up this particular dream. I did however, press a CD collection of the best of these works entitled "If I'm Alive", a few of which are still available in the Albums page of my personal website. (sound-clips are there as well)

Since then, (1996) the Violin/Fiddle has become my instrument of choice when gigging, and I have blossomed as a music director at St. Joachim Church where Guitar is my primary instrument. I now compose choral music for my choirs and I have had 10 compositions published by Oregon Catholic Press and World Library Publications and, as always, I am seeking publication for more of my work. I also participate regularly with Christopher Walker's "Southern California Liturgical Composers Forum" which meets and focuses on liturgical composition every few months.

I reside in Fullerton CA with my wife and four children.​ I occasionally pull a Celtic gig with my oldest son who backs my fiddling on guitar along with my daughters who sing many favorite Irish songs. (We're called 'Eversons and Daughters'.)


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