Violinist and fiddler Nicolette Andres has created a career with breadth in teaching, performing—internationally, and she continues her own education with expert teachers all over the country and world.
Nicolette began formal study of violin at age five with a Suzuki method violin teacher in Evergreen, Colorado. She followed her passion of music in college while studying at the University of Puget Sound. In a course with Dr. Maria Sampen, Nicolette's teacher and mentor for many years, Nicolette's discovered how wonderful it felt to teach and share her values with students in small, achievable steps. Beginning formal teacher training with the Suzuki Association of the Americas in 2015, Nicolette then nurtured her own studio, ranging in age from three to seventy years old, in the South Sound area for two years before return to her home state of Colorado.
Nicolette studied abroad in Cork, Ireland where she learned from violinist and conductor Tom Crowley. Nicolette picked up the bodhrán (Irish frame drum) and studied with Colm Murphy of the internationally known group De Dannan. Upon returning to the Northwest, Nicolette continued as a member of the University of Puget Sound Symphony Orchestra and Opera Orchestra, and was featured on violin as part of a jazz combo directed by composer Rob Hutchinson. Nicolette studied jazz in a formal setting at the University of Puget Sound, and also with her violin teacher in Ireland, Tom Crowley. In the classical realm, Nicolette performed in multiple chamber ensembles at the University of Puget Sound and was asked to rejoin the Symphony in Spring 2017 for a performance of Mahler’s First Symphony.
Because folk music has always been Nicolette's passion, in Spring 2017 Nicolette joined touring Steampunk band Abney Park based in Seattle, WA. Nicolette performed with Abney Park for crowds of up to three thousand people across the world. Destinations toured include Denver, Atlanta, San Diego, Seattle, Portland, Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia; and Niagara, Ontario. In addition to playing electrifying live shows with the band, Nicolette composed new violin parts for Abney Park and did work in the recording studio. She also sang backing vocals during live performances. In addition to Abney Park, Nicolette has also performed Django-style jazz, including two performances at Dazzle Jazz. Nicolette finds great inspiration from the artists Stuff Smith, Regina Carter, and Andrew Bird.
In December 2020 Nicolette began studying the Hardanger fiddle (Hardingfele in Norwegian) with Rachel Nesvig. Through a loan program from the Hardanger Fiddle Association of America, Nicolette was accepted to study and loan an instrument. Nicolette is passionate about oral traditions of music, and let that guide her to plan her first trip to Norway in May 2022 to visit the Ole Bull Akademiet. Nicolette now regularly performs Norwegian folk music in Boulder, Colorado on her own instrument, and continues to study the tradition.
Nicolette believes that learning the violin by ear develops skills that spill over into all parts of our lives. Through her courses Nicolette guides students to practice close listening, build focus, awareness, patience, sensitivity, kind hearts, as well as the technical skills that are used to play the instrument. This creates healthy, well-rounded individuals, and seeps into our communities.
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