News

Bedford singer and songwriter Andrew Galucki winner of commercial music showcase at Belmont University in Nashville

Friday, February 28, 2014

By LORETTA JACKSON

Staff Writer

Bedford’s Andrew Galucki was the kid who was always in his room, practicing his guitar, while everyone else was out riding their bicycles.

Galucki was among the first to be enrolled at Bedford High School, a new structure in 2007. Now, he has won the Belmont University Commercial Showcase, an onstage event of professional caliber held Feb. 3, in Massey Concert Hall at Belmont University’s School of Music in Nashville, Tenn.

The senior, 22, graduates from Belmont in May. The awarded prizes include free studio time at Ocean Way Studios, a co-write with a songwriter from a successful publishing house in the city and a future showcase at a Nashville hot spot – Third and Lindsley – the perfect venue for Galucki’s modern, folk-like sound, a style sparked with rock influences.

Galucki has his share of music on YouTube. A search there for his name will reveal his original, “A Shot for Us,” a composition that has 3,566 views. His “Wrecking Ball” cover of Miley Cyrus and his “Stay” cover of Rihanna also are on YouTube and highly acclaimed.

He gives props to his fellow musicians at the showcase. They include Reid Johnson, of St. Louis, on guitar. Kyle May, of North Carolina, on drums, Bryce Cain, of Nebraska, on guitar, Chris Sancho, of Wisconsin, on bass, Luke Roman, of Nashville, on the keyboard, with Eli Wynn of Indiana, Abi York, of Virginia, and Dinah Smith, of Texas, providing powerful background vocals.

“I could not have asked for better players behind me,” Galucki said. “They are some of the best musicians at Belmont and also some of my best friends.”

He also commended the others in the show for outstanding performances. He won the showcase despite the best efforts of contenders Joel Heumann, of Franklin, Tenn., along with Aimee Webber, of Tampa, Fla., and Katelyn Fox, of Hamilton, Ohio.

Internationally acclaimed judges pronounced Galucki the winner.

The judges listed on the show’s program include Ron Browning, a vocal coach, producer and songwriter who most recently coached Carrie Underwood as she prepared for “The Sound of Music.” Another judge was Cedric Dent, a vocalist, arranger and producer who co-produced 10-time Grammy Award-winning vocal group, Take 6. Also voting yes was Frank Liddell, a publisher and producer best known for producing all of Miranda Lambert’s albums, as well as Lee Ann Womack’s hit song, “I Hope You Dance.”

Galucki’s early roots in music grew stronger as fifth-grade dabbling morphed into middle school performances and high school gigs. He and his brother, Stephen, along with a friend, Pat Synan, formed a band, Kascade, that drew many fans.

Galucki admits that he assumed he had musical talent long before he earned any bragging rights.

“In order to learn anything, I think you usually have to start with the kind of ignorance that thinks, ‘Pshh, I can do that,’” Galucki said. “It was a long time before my ability to play music actually matched up with that notion.”

Bedford High School music teacher Jim Butka congratulated Galucki and commented, saying he taught Galucki in an IB Music program, an advanced music elective in the school’s International Baccalaureate program.

“He has a natural talent on the guitar and vocals and a gift for writing songs,” Butka said. “His band, Kascade, won the first Battle of the Bands at BHS back in 2008.”

Andrew’s dad and mom, Lee and Shirley, recalled that the piano in their home was well used as their sons, Stephen, Andrew and Ben, took their turns on the bench for lessons.

“Music is in Andrew’s DNA,” Lee Galucki said. “He’s fortunate in finding something that fuels him so early in life. He writes in a way that connects with people’s spirits and emotions. The world needs that.”

Galucki’s degree from Belmont University will be in music with a commercial guitar major and music business emphasis.

His parents said the Nashville showcase featured four performers, each allotted time for three songs. Posters touting the event and the four chosen musicians plastered the campus and most of Nashville. Their son’s songs were originals. His voice and his guitar music flowed out to the audience over a state-of-the-art sound system. The stage was awash in colors cast by banks of overhead lights.

“When the first singer came out, I looked at my wife and said, ‘We’re not in Bedford anymore,’” Lee Galucki said. “When Andrew won, it was like a slow-motion moment of, ‘Did that just happen?’”

Butka offered another tidbit about Galucki’s adventures in music and his vocal range at the high school.

“He played the role of the Lion in the school musical, ‘The Wiz,’ which I was the musical director for. He captured the role perfectly with his powerful voice and charisma.”

Today, guitar playing and writing songs and performing on stage, even before an audience of hundreds as at the university’s showcase, is daily exercise for Galucki’s brain, body and soul. He’s preparing for a lifetime career in music and song.

“I owned a guitar for about three years before I actually learned to play it,” Galucki recalled. “I remember sitting on my bed strumming the open strings of the guitar, since I didn’t know any chords, and singing random songs.”

The occasion became his first recording session.

“I recorded on my little tape recorder, so, somewhere, a tape exists as evidence,” Galucki said. “The tape also probably picked up my brother’s voice asking me to please stop, and rightfully so.”

Fifth-grade guitar lessons commenced soon after the impromptu recording session. Galucki cherishes a comment made long ago by a teacher who said he surely, someday, would be in a rock band.

“The fact that she said it gave me the confidence, early on, that she thought I would be able to be in a rock band one day,” Galucki said. “Which, at that time, was what I thought it meant to ‘make it’ in music.”

He advises those who would try making music to play music at every opportunity.

“I was really pretty awful at music for a long time,” Galucki said. “If I would have stopped out of fear or frustration, then my life would be totally different. When you try new things, you never know what could happen. But if you never try, you know exactly what will always happen. Nothing.”

For more about the music of Andrew Galucki, visit his media sites. Hear his songs at YouTube at www.youtube.com/andrewgalucki. Check out his Twitter site www.twitter.com/AndrewGalucki. Visit him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/andrewgaluckimusic.

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