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Achieving a Bachelors of Arts Degree in History from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville (including serving as Valedictory Speaker of the Dec. 2004 class), Andreas has a passion for things "of old," particularly for the history of Wisconsin and immigrant and Native American cultures in that place. He has also achieved specializations in Irish History, American Civil War History, 19th century European History, and Wisconsin History.
From the age of 11, Andreas was an American Civil War Reenactor with the 1st Wisconsin Cavalry, and learned much as a living history presenter. He began working for his local newspaper at the age of 14, and was soon writing the local history column for The Boscobel Dial. This love for writing and for historical research led him to uncover "The Huftill Flag," a Confederate flag dating to 1861 and captured at the Battle of Gettysburg by Wisconsin soldiers, and to kick-off a debate that led to its preservation and current display at the Grant County Courthouse in Lancaster, Wisconsin.
More recently, Andreas presented a research project on the life and death of renowned Norwegian-American Hardanger fiddler Hans Fykerud, an important community member in Stoughton, Wisconsin and figure in Norwegian traditional music.
Andreas has published work as a historian and as a newspaper journalist, and has been recognized by the Wisconsin Newspaper Association for investigative reporting. He has also organized history discussion groups and festivals, and loves a good "dress up."
It was as a teenager doing living history events that Andreas first developed a love for "shanty" or call-and-response worksong singing.
As he has developed his abilities as a traditional Irish sean-nós-style (old style) singer and ballad singer, he has also developed a strong voice as a "shantyman," or leader of the shanties, setting the pace and pitch for the songs.
Andreas performs with "Boxing the Compass," a shanty group out southern Wisconsin, and is the founder of shanty sings such as "The Stoughton Sea Shanty Society Roxy's Sing" the second Tuesday of every month in Stoughton. He is a passionate supporter of social singing, and knows the fun as well as health benefits that it has. Sea Shanty Sings are a healthy event for all people, regardless of age or ability or talent! Songbooks are provided, and songs are taught. People can lead songs if they wish, or jump in to take a verse or two as the song develops.
Andreas runs "Sea Shanty Sings" at :
First Thursday of the Month - Awildan Distilling in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin (east side Madison)
Home - Awildan Distilling
Second Tuesday of the Month - Roxy's Restobar in Stoughton, Wisconsin
Quarterly at The Old Oak Inn in Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin
Monthly Sea Shanty Sunday's at The Irish Cottage in Galena, Illinois (on the weekends Andreas performs there. See Galena IL Hotel | Irish Cottage Inn & Suites - Pub Calendar (theirishcottageboutiquehotel.com)
Check back for more sea shanty sing dates and locations! Or contact Andreas to have a shanty sing at your venue or event!
Andreas has presented educational programs at libraries, elementary and high schools, summer camps, festivals, and universities on many different topics. He is open to working with school districts and other institutions to help find grant money for residencies, or for single day events, whether that be for a large group or many small groups.
Some of the presentations that Andreas has done in the past include:
-Maypole construction and dancing
-American social dancing including square and contra dancing
-Spoonerisms and other funny storytelling techniques
-Spoons playing and spoons haircuts
-Irish dance music and singing
-Maple syrup making
-Dream catcher making
-Ballad-style and other traditional singing
-Harmonics and creating soundscapes
-Basic instrument building
-Wild foraging and plant identification
In 2023, Andreas contributed to Dr. Amy Ressler's book Social Emotional Learning Through Drama: A Practical Guide to Immersive Devised Story Drama
He has worked with institutions and groups such as:
The University of Wisconsin System
UW-Milwaukee Celtic Studies Department
The California State University at Bakersfield
University of California-Davis
The Great Midwestern Education Theater Company
Frogwart's School of Wizardry Summer Camp
The Gays Mills, Wisconsin Library
The North Crawford School District
The Kickapoo Reserve
The Overture Center in Madison, Wisconsin
Wartburg College in Waverly, IA
L'Etolie du Nord French Immersion School in St. Paul, MN
St. Mary's College of the University of Surrey, England
The University of Limerick, Ireland
The Oideas Gael Irish Language Center in Co. Donegal, Ireland
A Spoons Evangelist...
Andreas began playing spoons as a young boy in the hills of the Driftless Region, where some of his Irish ancestors had moved during and after Black '47, a particularly awful year of the Great Irish Famine. Learning from his family (who continued the tradition of playing and working as Irish music makers), Andreas keeps alive a fun, intricate, and very musical style of playing the spoons which he calls "The Rolling Ground Style" in honor of his Irish ancestors who settled around Rolling Ground, Wisconsin in northern Crawford County, Wisconsin.
He teaches spoons workshops at schools and libraries and festivals and often incorporates the "Spoons Haircut" in his performances, bringing audience members onstage and... playing on their heads. It is a theatrical sort of game passed down in his family and is great fun for young and old alike! Be sure to ask Andreas for a Spoons Haircut!
Traditional Ballad Singing... Lilting...
Tin Whistle... Bodhrán... Guitar... Bouzouki... Spoons...
Sax... Mandolin... Harmonica... Piano... Accordions... Concertina...
And whatever other fun things are about the place to bang, whack, strum, bow or blow on!
Andreas grew up surrounded by music, from the Beatles and Bach and the British folk rock records of his father to the Irish traditional music and ballad singing of his mother's side of the family. There were many rock and roll and country bands in his hometown of Boscobel, Wisconsin (on Highway 61 and the Wisconsin River), and an "Irish Tabernacle Choir" at the local Catholic Church that performed classic Irish and Irish-American vaudeville songs. But for the best choirs in town, it was the old German and Scandinavian Lutheran church and the songs in the good old green Lutheran Book of Worship. The Danish melodies were important and nostalgic to Andreas' father, himself an immigrant from the Danish island of Bornholm.
Very active in high school music, Andreas went on to study classical and jazz music and theater at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, home of the Wisconsin Shakespeare Festival at that time. He worked as the Performing Arts Series Coordinator for the university and was part of the team that expanded the performing arts series from four to eight shows, tripling the budget and bringing in more high-quality musicians and dance companies, etc. to the region. While a student at Platteville, he performed in choirs and various bands and symphonic groups (on clarinet and saxophones). He accepted the opportunity to study abroad in London, England at St. Mary's College in Strawberry Hill for a year, and ended up bouncing back and forth between mainly England, Ireland, and Wisconsin for the next ten years, completing a Bachelors in History from UWP as well as a Certificate Degree in Celtic Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, an Irish Music Certificate from the Irish World Music Academy at The University of Limerick, and recognition from St. Mary's College for his work in Irish studies, theatre and history. He also completed a Gaelic Language Immersion program at Oideas Gael Irish Language Center in Glencolumcille, Co. Donegal, Ireland.
In 2008, Andreas was recognized as a semi-finalist in A Prairie Home Companion's "Top Talents in Their 20s" talent show. He was one of 30 selected from across the United States.
He has performed around Wisconsin with his many fine Irish musicians in Irish pub and traditional music bands such as "The Coughlins," "Pogue Mahone," "The Tullamore Dudes," "The Handful of Earth Band," "The Lilies of the Midwest," and "Bi Dana." Andreas is also an active solo artist, and has performed extensively at The Irish Cottage in Galena, IL, where he often invites regional traditional Irish music makers to join him.
Some of Andreas' past festival performances include:
The Milwaukee Irish Festival
The Irish Fest in the Barn/Madison Irish Festival
The Dubuque Irish Festival
The Dubuque Irish Hooley
The Oshkosh Irish Festival
The Lacrosse Irish Festival
The Kansas City Irish Festival
The Dublin (Ohio) Irish Festival
The Gays Mills Folk Fest
The GottaGetGon Folk Fest (New York)
The Davis, California International Festival
The Madison International Festival
The Dubuque Storytelling Festival
The Whitewater Storytelling Festival
The Rockford Irish Festival
Big Top Chautauqua
He has also toured internationally and was a United States Peace Ambassador and bodhrán player with The Call For Peace Drum and Dance Company. In that company, he was one of the first artists to perform at The Overture Center in Madison, Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Art Museum in Milwaukee, and Frank Lloyd Wright's Monona Terrace in Madison, participating in the opening ceremonies at those places.
In August of 2012, Andreas was asked to perform in a special ceremony at The Wisconsin Sikh Temple in Oak Creek following a horrific mass shooting event. He performed with other musicians and dancers in a ceremony of peace and healing just a few days after a white supremacist murdered seven people and injured many others. Andreas was subsequently asked to host an Irish Wake for those who had died. He gathered members of the Milwaukee Sikh community, local police, and Irish traditional music makers for an Irish Wake at Paddy's Pub in Milwaukee not long after. A year later, he held a one-year anniversary Irish Wake at Paddy's Pub, this time joined by victims of mass shootings from across the United States.
In 2020, Andreas worked with songwriter Frank Sommers to release an album of Frank's songs in an album entitled "The Earth and Everything in It," which is available for purchase on most platforms.
He also worked with musician and producer Parker Roe to release "The Patched Hats: Steppin' Large and Laughin' Easy" in 2005. This was Andreas' first time in the studio! This recording is also available on most platforms.
Andreas lived for a time in Bangor, County Down, N. Ireland where he worked and studied with Paul Marshall and All Ireland and World bodhrán champion Paul Phillips building instruments for BingBangBong!, specifically for "The Lost and Found Orchestra" from the creators of Stomp.
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