Harnsberger has CD Featured in Fanfare Magazine
By Sara Groos
Lee University’s Dr. Andy Harnsberger recently submitted his CD “Phoenix” to Fanfare Magazine, the largest reviewer of classical CDs in the United States. The magazine selected his CD and released an interview with Harnsberger as well as a review of his work in its 2018 January/February issue.
“It was an honor to be featured in such a prestigious magazine,” said Harnsberger.
The magazine’s interview gives readers a piece of Harnsberger’s story, outlining various parts of his journey to becoming a marimba virtuoso. Readers find an explanation for how many of his musical experiences contributed to his development as a musician; one being his attendance to a concert for Leigh Howard Stevens, a world famous marimba player.
“The way [Stevens] could manipulate the mallets, and the sounds he got out of the instrument, were incredible,” said Harnsberger. “I had never heard or seen anyone play at that level, and after that, I would say I really was driven to become a master of the instrument.”
The interview goes on to explore the insight behind Harnsberger’s musical composition process. He explains that as he composes, he always has a story in mind.
“I try to elicit the imagination of the listener and create a setting where they can either ‘see’ what I am trying to paint or ‘feel’ the emotions being presented through music,” said Harnsberger. “I think that even without a backstory, much of the true meaning of the pieces will come through.”
In the review, readers will find exclusive details concerning the individual theme and purpose of Harnsberger’s pieces and the experiences, fascinations, and places inspiring each one. According to Colin Clarke, Fanfare contributing writer and Harnsberger’s review author, “Phoenix” was inspired by Harnsberger’s fascination with the life and uniqueness of a phoenix, a fictional animal.
According to the article and National Public Radio (NPR), Harnsberger’s “Phoenix” is “a riveting introduction to a musician who ‘is a joy to watch in performance and a feast for the ears. The sensitivity and strength in his live playing was a treasure for the audience … simply phenomenal!’”
Harnsberger enjoys a versatile career as a performer, composer, and educator. He is an associate professor of music and the percussion coordinator at Lee. He has performed in musical venues across North America, South America, Australia, Japan, and Europe, and presents numerous solo recitals and clinics throughout the United States each year.
He is in demand as a recitalist and clinician across the country and internationally, presenting clinics and masterclasses at as many as 40 universities per year. He has performed with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Nashville Symphony Orchestra, and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and has toured extensively as percussionist and xylophone soloist with The Jack Daniel’s Silver Cornet Band. He has also made several guest appearances on NPR, both in interviews, and live performances to bring public awareness to the marimba as a solo instrument.
Harnsberger earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts in performance and literature at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he also received the prestigious Performer’s Certificate. He is a performing artist and clinician for Malletech Instruments and Mallets, Remo Drum Heads, Sabian Cymbals, Ltd., and Grover Pro Percussion.
Harnsberger’s album, “Phoenix,” is available for purchase at Amazon.