Andrew Kurtis Szypula is a percussionist, musical designer, and educator located in New Orleans, LA. He holds the position of Assistant Director of Bands at Tulane University where he manages operations and all auxiliary ensembles. After graduating Summa Cum Laude with dual Bachelor’s degrees in Music Education and in Music Performance from West Chester University of Pennsylvania in 2012 he obtained a Master of Music in Percussion Performance from Temple University in 2015. He was also a member of the WCU Honors College.
Andrew is highly trained in all areas of percussion and musicianship. He is highly skilled in the areas of orchestral percussion, orchestral timpani, contemporary percussion, marching percussion, world percussion and hand drumming, drum set, and jazz vibraphone. His arrangements and compositions have been performed worldwide by a variety of ensembles from cover bands to championship marching groups to professional entertainment companies. As a certified music educator, Andrew is proficient as a performer and educator on all standard band and orchestra instruments. Andrew is available for designing, consulting, and teaching for programs from elementary band to world class drum corps.
Andrew is a member of the Beetle Percussion Artist Family. He proudly endorses and supports their mission to create beautiful, hand-crafted, sustainably-sourced percussion products. Click the logo to visit their website and use promo code SZYPULA to receive a free floppy pad with any order!
Andrew is also a member of Percussive Arts Society and the Vic Firth Education Team.
Andrew's performance experience spans many genres. He currently plays drum set with the N'awlins Johnnys and has weekly gigs at Tickler's Dueling Piano Bar at My Bar 635. The Johnnys recorded an EP in summer 2017 titled Lush Like Me on which Andrew played percussion. He has played with professional orchestras including the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Reading Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Academy Chamber Society, Philadelphia Camerata Orchestra, Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey, and the Pennsylvania Philharmonic. He has also performed nationally with Drum Corps International World Class Drum and Bugle Corps including the 2009 silver medalist, Carolina Crown.
The stage is not an unfamiliar medium for Andrew. He has performed and arranged for several professional entertainment companies including Windish Music and Productions, performing at State Fairs and theme parks; and John W. McGrath Productions International; arranging for and performing in private, public, and corporate events along the east coast. In 2013, Andrew joined the performer roster for Gallant Entertainment, Inc. (GEI), a marching percussion entertainment company based in New York City. As a performer and arranger with GEI, Andrew has performed in front of sold out crowds at Madison Square Garden, MetLife Stadium, The Javits Center, the TD Garden, the Wells Fargo Center, and Gillette Stadium. GEI works with many high-caliber clients such as the New York Knicks, the New York Giants, the New York Jets, the New York Rangers, the Boston Celtics, the New England Patriots, the Philadelphia Flyers, Under Armour, the NFL for Super Bowl XLVIII, and the NBA 2015 All Star Game. Andrew was a Performing Member Leader at GEI and also wrote and arranged music for the NFL drumlines and for a corporate performance for Nike.
Over the course of his education, Andrew has studied with Alan Abel, Retired Associate Principal Percussionist of the Philadelphia Orchestra; Chris Deviney, current Principal Percussionist of the Philadelphia Orchestra; Ralph Sorrentino, Principal Percussionist of the Philadelphia Ballet Company and a frequent substitute percussionist with the Philadelphia Orchestra; David Nelson, a section percussionist for the Philly Pops, Principal Timpanist of the Philly Pops and Lancaster Symphony, and a frequent substitute percussionist with the Deleware Symphony and Philadelphia Orchestra; Dr. Chris Hanning, percussionist for a premier chamber group, Relâche, and a recording artist for NFL Films; and Dr. Marc Jacoby, a world-class educator, certified Apple specialist, and a jazz vibe artist and clinician.
Andrew's teaching experience includes directing, consulting, and teaching nationally competing high school groups such as the Sun Valley High School Marching Band, the Downingtown West Marching Band, and the WGI World Championship Finalist Downingtown Indoor Percussion Ensemble. He also instructed the bass drum section at the Raiders Drum and Bugle Corps in 2013. In 2014, Andrew presented a marching percussion clinic at the brand new Dolores T. Aaron Academy in New Orleans, LA, a recent addition to the ReNEW schools family and performed in a marching percussion presentation in PASIC 2014 with presenter Michael Eagle. Andrew has written marching shows and presented clinics for several groups in Colombia including Grand Banda Medellín and Banda Show Ciudad de Medellín. and Andrew currently serves at the Assistant Director of Bands for Tulane University in New Orleans where he oversees percussion, operations, social media, and all auxiliary ensembles.
Andrew’s design and instruction services have received many accolades in the greater Philadelphia/NYC areas and beyond. His work for Gallant Entertainment has been featured at professional sports events, wedding bands, and corporate events for high-caliber companies such as Nike. His 2013 Indoor Percussion design, “Reach,” helped the Downingtown Indoor Percussion Ensemble capture the gold medal for the second year running in the Scholastic A Class of the Mid Atlantic Percussion Society Championships, and place 20th in the world at the WGI World Championships in Dayton, OH. Andrew's 2014 Indoor Percussion design, "Unsustainable," pushed the boundaries of the activity in the local circuit and brought home the third straight gold medal in the Scholastic A Class of the Mid Atlantic Percussion Society Championships.
Just a short list of schools, programs, and companies for which Andrew has designed include Gallant Entertainment, Inc. (NYC), Tulane University Marching Band (New Orleans), Temple University Diamond Marching Band (Philadelphia), Grand Banda Medellín (Antioquia, Colombia), Ciudad de Medellín (Antioquia, Colombia), Banda Musical Femenina Clemencia de Colombia (Bogotá, Colombia), Dolores T. Aaron Academy (New Orleans), Bayonne High School Marching Band (Greater NYC), Downingtown West High School Marching Band, Downingtown Indoor Percussion Ensemble, Bayard-Rustin High School, and Cheltenham High School (Greater Phila.).
Andrew currently resides in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie, LA with his fiancée, Alison, and their two cats, Castiel and Sadie. In his free time he enjoys working on and riding his Indian Springfield motorcycle.