HFC student Andrew Cutting makes music to make people feel happy

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HFC student Andrew Cutting at the keyboard.

HFC student Andrew Cutting has been involved in music most of his life.

“My grandmother and my father always encouraged me to sing and learn the piano,” recalled Cutting, a lifelong Taylor resident. “When I was in the sixth grade, I started playing the trumpet. My band directors in middle school and high school introduced me to many kinds of music and pushed me to go as far as I could.”

A good introduction to a college environment

The youngest of two sons, Cutting is a graduate of Taylor High School, where he was in the marching band, varsity band, symphony band, and concert band. Cutting can play trumpet, French horn, and piano. After graduating from high school, he enrolled at HFC.

“I chose to attend HFC because it’s a good entrance to a college environment,” he said.

Initially, Cutting studied architecture and later orthodontics before changing his major to music.

“I should have majored in music in the first place,” said Cutting.

A member of the HFC symphony band, Cutting is also a lab associate for the HFC Music department and is taking private music lessons with HFC music instructor John Hartwick.

“Andrew is a multi-instrumentalist who performs with HFC's symphony band during the Winter semester and is taking private lessons to further improve his musicianship,” said HFC Manager of Recording Arts Jeremy Palmer, his supervisor. “He is an independent and motivated worker, willing to help out in whatever way we ask. He's in the middle of a much-needed and long-overdue project: Reorganizing and culling our jazz band library.”

One of the great equalizers of mankind

Once he graduates from HFC and earns his associate degree in music, Cutting plans to transfer to Wayne State University, Eastern Michigan University, or the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he will earn a bachelor’s degree in music. Afterward, he would like to earn a master’s degree in music composition and possibly a doctorate in orchestral conducting.

“My goal is to teach music at the college level. My dream is to perform on Broadway, whether I’m conducting, performing, or writing music,” he said. “I’m writing a 5-part orchestration with a big story behind it that would work well in a play. I’m trying to write as much music as I can and take advantage of as many opportunities as I can. (HFC Interim Director of Music) Anthony Lai has been very helpful, supportive, and encouraging. He’s been a great mentor to me.”

"Andrew is the kind of student who is willing to ask questions after class, ask for additional work, set deadlines for work he gave himself, and has a willingness to take the class material and apply it immediately," said Lai. "If he continues with this kind of work ethic, he's the kind of musician who can really do something with the skills he learns at HFC."

HFC has broadened Cutting’s exposure to and knowledge of the music field. He spoke about why he loves music so much.

“I love music because it’s one of the only things in this world that can bring people together, regardless of race, ethnicities, and beliefs,” he said. “It’s up there with comedy as one of the great equalizers of mankind. I’m not in music just to make myself feel happy; I’m in it to make other people feel happy.”