Yarra Old Grammarian, Andy Baldwin, class of 1987, says the love of music that he nurtured at School has taken him around the world. From Melbourne, his work as a music producer has seen Andy set up home in New York and, more recently, Los Angeles. He has worked with artists including Paul Kelly, Powderfinger and Bjork.
“As a producer, I build a song from the ground up. I think about instrumentation, the arrangement, the lyrics and give the artist some suggestions about the direction of their vocal performance. You want the person whose song it is to walk away with the best realisation of their vision for that song. It’s a very dynamic job.”
The signs that music would become Andy’s life were apparent in his early days at Yarra.
In Year 7, Andy was a member of the Senior School Orchestra by virtue of his violin playing and he later studied Music at La Trobe University.
“I played the violin from the age of 5 or 6. I wasn’t a prodigy, but I practised every day and I was committed,” he says.
“I remember performing at my final speech night and I was in rock and roll bands and performed in assemblies. I also got to be in South Pacific, singing in the chorus, which was a wonderful experience.
Andy’s family have strong connections to Yarra and have presented a music award to talented Middle School music students for many years. His father was instrumental in the Yarra Foundation that helped fund the Performing Arts Centre.
Now living on the other side of the world, his bond with Yarra endures, as do many of the friendships he made during his School years.
“I’m still close to a lot of the old guys from School and we all share a real pride in being from Yarra,” he says.