Andrew French-Northam teaches contemporary and classical guitar, music technology, composition and Music Industry Studies. He is also an accomplished horn and trumpet player.
His musical journey began when he was captivated, not by a guitar performance, but by a glorious horn solo performed by Clary Mellor, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s First Horn. Clary later became his teacher and mentor. But Andrew is equally passionate about the guitar. Since those early days he has developed a fulfilling career as a regionally based performer, composer, educator and arts administrator.
As a musician, Andrew describes himself as “a multi-disciplinariest with a chameleon’s musical attitude.” In 2010 he participated in The Progeny Project, a collaborative cross-art form initiative by Orange Regional Conservatorium, for example, to present three public music and visual art events called Provocation, Process and Reflection.
Andrew has performed jazz with the “infamous” Bellingen-based trio ‘The Ferals’, swing with trumpeter Brett Iggulden, improvisation with saxophonist Sandy Evans and several other genres with other well-known musicians. He has also served as a director and artistic administrator with the Bellingen Jazz Festival, Armidale Jazz Camps, and the Sydney Youth Orchestra.
Andrew graduated with three music majors from the University of New England Armidale, and was awarded the J. Albert and Sons Scholarship. His teachers and mentors have included Don Andrews, George Golla, Paul Palister, Steve Tafra and many other musical luminaries.
In the years since then Andrew has developed a fulfilling career as a regionally based performer, composer, arts administrator and educator. As a teacher he is especially proud of introducing new teaching and education programs in Music Industry Studies at Orange Campus of TAFE to develop the professional skills of new artists, as well as their demanding first album.