Edge, Q & A + Profiles

Frost School violinist reunites with childhood idol

Joshua Bell is an award-winning, world-renowned violinist who visited the University of Miami’s Gusman Concert Hall to perform at the annual Festival Miami showcase on Oct. 4.

While most students were excited to be seated in the same auditorium as the bona fide musician, for freshman Elijah Kirkland-Andrews, the evening was a heartwarming reunion.

When Andrews was 5 years old, he played the violin for Bell at Montclair State University in New Jersey.

“I took lessons there, and somehow my teacher I think knew [Bell],” Andrews remembered. “I only played ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,’ because it was the only thing I could play at that point.”

Andrews believes it was either his teacher or mother who took the photo of Bell hugging the 5-year-old Andrews. Both were grinning.

“It was in 2000, and I don’t even remember if he played anything,” Andrews said. “I vaguely remember taking the photo, but I do remember putting on that silver clip tie because it was the first time I ever wore a tie.”

Over the next 13 years, Andrews continued taking violin lessons.

After all, Bell began taking lessons when he was 5 too.

“I never wanted to be a violinist,” Andrews said. “I wanted to be an astronaut, I had a phase when I wanted to be a stock broker, and then I wanted to be a basketball player. But really I didn’t take anything else seriously.”

After attending a music camp the summer before his sophomore year of high school, Andrews began pursuing the string instrument more intently.

He placed the crinkled photo of himself and Bell in his violin case for luck and inspiration.

In high school, Andrews was Georgia’s all-state best player in chorus and orchestra.

He played at Emory University’s youth orchestra with jazz and classical tunes as his focus.

Last spring, Andrews was accepted to the Frost School of Music.

And 13 years later at the Festival Miami showcase, Andrews, now 18, arranged to see Bell.

He showed his violin idol the photo, who laughed and recalled the evening.

“We only talked for two minutes about the picture,” Andrews said. “But he was shocked. It’s a small world.”

That night, Bell and Andrews took another photo that mimics the first.

Bell embraced Andrews who was almost two feet taller than the one in 2000.

But like the original, both Bell and Andrews are smiling.

October 24, 2013

Reporters

Jess Swanson


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

It’s the play Miami Hurricanes fans will never forget — and Florida State fans are trying to forget. ...

Miami Hurricanes fans might recall their favorite college football players in past years dreaming of ...

The new quarterback is usually the ones fans gush over. For the University of Miami, last season it ...

Debate all you want, but University of Miami football coach Mark Richt made it clearer than ever Wed ...

Last year, when University of Miami tailback Mark Walton attended the Atlantic Coast Conference Foot ...

UM dining services team earns national recognition for special event catering. ...

From hammerheads to great whites, University of Miami researcher Neil Hammerschlag is a dedicated sp ...

An ACLU report authored by UM sociologists documents racial and ethnic disparities in Miami-Dade Cou ...

Following the summit between Trump and Putin, reaction from politicians, pundits and former intellig ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

Miami senior Tyler Gauthier was named to the 2018 Fall Watch List for the Rimington Trophy presented ...

Miami junior wide receiver Ahmmon Richards was among those named to the watch list for the 2018 Bile ...

University of Miami junior running back Travis Homer was named a preseason candidate for the Doak Wa ...

Six former Canes competed on NBA Summer League teams, with three averaging at least 10 points per ga ...

Quick Hits gives University of Miami volleyball fans an opportunity to get to know the new student-a ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.