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

The Miami Hurricanes are running low on tight ends. But their receivers — notably sophomore speedste ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Tuesday: ▪ The pretty even split of carries between Travis Homer ...

The University of Miami has lost another player to surgery, and the depth was already lacking at thi ...

A six-pack of UM notes on a Monday: ▪ There has been no more popular or successful quarterback at UM ...

The Miami Hurricanes’ defense leads the nation in tackles for loss and stopping opponents on third d ...

UM President Julio Frenk outlined the strategies of the Roadmap to Our New Century, part of his Stat ...

Listeners to UM President Julio Frenk’s State of the U reacted positively to the message and the Uni ...

At UM’s inaugural State of the U address, President Julio Frenk detailed the strategies of the Roadm ...

Tropical storm scientists and climate experts at the University of Miami provided insight, observati ...

Joseph Ganitsky, a professor in the Miami Business School, examines the financial crisis facing Arge ...

Jeff Thomas may be quiet off the field, but the sophomore has been consistently making lots of noise ...

The Atlantic Coast Conference announced Tuesday the league slate for the upcoming 2018-19 season. ...

Miami remained ranked in both major polls Sunday, checking in at No. 21 in the Associated Press Top ...

The Miami Hurricanes came to Toledo, Ohio for the biggest home game in the history of Toledo footbal ...

A quartet of University of Miami men's tennis student-athletes concluded the final day of compe ...

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.