Andrew Urlacher

Bass Clarinet
MVC-031SRemember those stories that every parent tells their school age children. The one about having to walk three miles through knee deep snow in bare feet to get to school? This week’s Band Member of the Week can almost identify with those tall tales of harrowing school commutes. Okay, maybe not the part about the bare feet, but Andrew Urlacher definitely remembers venturing out into some mighty cold weather during his daily journey to and from school in his earlier years.He was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (that would explain his affinity for cheese), to Pete and Christian Urlacher (the band uniform lady). When Andrew was nine years old, his Dad’s job as a heavy equipment parts supplier took the family a little further south to the little town of Waverly, Iowa. “It was really cold,” he recalled of his time in the northern plains. What does he think about living in Mississippi? “It’s really warm…too warm. I liked the cold weather up there better than I like the hot weather down here,” he explained.

Andrew’s interest in music started in a fourth grade music class. After trying several instruments, he followed the suggestion of his teacher and settled on the clarinet. Although there was an early emphasis on music, he admits that his school in Iowa did not have the strong band program he encountered at Desoto Central when the family moved to Southaven three years ago. “If we had stayed in Iowa, I probably would have dropped out of band,” he said. “[That school] was more interested in football and sports.”

This year, Andrew has traded in his familiar B-flat clarinet for the bass clarinet. As a whole, he believes the volume and depth of the low brass and low winds sections has improved noticeably this year, adding to the overall quality of the sound of the band. He was happy to do his part by moving back one row and picking up the bass. It just seemed the logical thing to do.

And logical thinking has a certain appeal. “I guess that’s why I like my math classes most,” Andrew observed. As a sophomore, he is tackling two math subjects at once this year-geometry and algebra II. The logical progressions used to solve most math problems just comes naturally to him. “It just makes sense to me,” he said. Right now, his academic priorities are focused on passing his classes in World History, English and Global Marketing. Global Marketing? “It’s my toughest class,” he said. “I wound up in there when the Web Design class filled up.” Web Design? Global Marketing? Are these real classes, or just clubs and extracurricular activities? “No, Global Marketing is a real class, and it’s hard,” he said with a serious look.

Despite all of this higher education and strengths in handling mathematical problems Andrew still remains unsure where his college studies will take him. He just knows that he will go to college somewhere. “Most likely,” Andrew observed, “it will be where ever I can get the best scholarships.” For now, he is considering continuing his music studies, possibly getting a degree in music.

Thinking about such things may be a little too distant to worry about right now. After all, sometimes it is good to just enjoy being 15 and Andrew enjoys doing other things besides just thinking about his future. After some encouragement from fellow band member Scott May, he has been putting his music talents to good use by playing in the orchestra at Trinity Baptist Church. Other favorite past time activities include hanging out with his friends, watching television or reading a good fantasy novel. “Right now I’m reading ‘The Dark Elf Trilogy’.” He has also seen all of the “Lord of the Rings” and “Star Wars” adventures-some more than once. His favorite movie? “Revenge of the Sith”

Despite these other interests, his band related activities still dominate. What is Andrew most looking forward to this year in the band program? Going to the Hollywood Christmas Parade. His only regret, since the trip occurs over Thanksgiving break, is that he will not get more days off from school. Maybe he would feel better if there were a few feet of snow on the ground to wade through. At least then it would be like old times.

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