By Jack Macias ’14
When he was only five years old, Brophy freshman Andy Vainauskas ’15 got his first violin from a music shop as a surprise birthday present.
Since then the instrument has become a fixture in his life.
Vainauskas takes lessons once a week for 45 minutes each. Vainauskas practices at Brophy and, to continue learning about and improving his violin skills, he takes scheduled lessons with private instructors outside of school.
He has had a total of four instructors outside of school.
Vainauskas said he finds inspiration from other successful violinists.
“I personally look up to Joshua Bell; he’s a very famous violinist. I admire his work and how he uses the instrument. I try to be as good as he is,” Vainauskas said.
Mr. Paul Olson, who teaches Vainauskas, admires his determination.
“He has a remarkably strong work ethic, especially for a freshman,” Mr. Olson said. “It’s very obvious that he has had good training, good values and ethics instilled in him by home, his string teacher, or all of the above.”
Mr. Olson also called the freshman a “top-level-violinist.”
Though he is well known around Brophy for his performance at Mass, Vainauskas also performs outside of school.
Vainauskas performs in the West Valley Youth Orchestra two hours every Monday.
“It has everything that Brophy has with the exception of a couple flutes and some of the wind instruments,” Vainauskas said.
On top of the West Valley Youth Orchestra, Vainauskas also performs at weddings.
Vainauskas said the Brophy fine arts program is “excellent” and praised Mr. Olson for being a great teacher.
“He is a great conductor and he is also a great teacher,” Vainauskas said.
Vainauskas said he knows that it is hard to make a career out of being a violinist but definitely wants to continue playing.
Vainauskas has also expressed interest in the field of engineering but hopes to continue with the violin either as a career or a hobby.c