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Andrew Towsey-Grishaw

Dr. Andrew Cervantes Towsey-Grishaw is Visiting Assistant Professor of Music in the joint College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University Department of Music in Minnesota. He directs the CSB/SJU Chamber Orchestra, teaches applied violin and viola, coaches chamber music, and Music through History.

Prior to joining the faculty at CSB/SJU, he was the Interim Director of String Studies at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, CA, where he directed the University String Symphony, taught applied viola, coached chamber music, and taught courses in music theory, music history, and music education. He also was as a Teaching Artist for Viola with the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (YOLA), a Los Angeles Philharmonic education outreach program in Inglewood, CA.

Born and raised in Turlock, California, Dr. Towsey-Grishaw holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Viola Performance from the University of Southern California, Thornton School of Music (2022). Secondary emphasis areas for this degree are Music Teaching and Learning, Instrumental Conducting, and Early Music Performance. Primary conducting teachers include Larry Livingston, Sharon Lavery, and Cristian Grases. He also holds a Master of Music degree in Viola Performance from the University of Miami, Frost School of Music (2019), a Performance Studies Diploma from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (2017), and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Denver, Lamont School of Music (2016).

Principal viola teachers include Karen Dreyfus, Jodi Levitz, Jay Liu, and Basil Vendryes. Dr. Towsey-Grishaw leads a varied performance schedule that includes orchestral, chamber music, and solo performances. He has performed with the Pacific, New West, and Modesto Symphonies as well as the American Contemporary Ballet and Jacaranda Ensemble, among others. His chamber music collaborations include the Laos Chamber Music, as featured guest artist of the “Off the Vines” chamber series through Symphony of the Vines, and for a number of years with the South Beach Chamber Ensemble. He looks forward to joining the CSB/SJU faculty collective Pastiche.  Recent solo performances include the “Flos Campi” Viola Concerto by Ralph Vaughan Williams with the California Lutheran University chorus. A passionate advocate for contemporary classical music, he has been collaborating with living composers for many years as both a performer and teacher. In 2019, he was the featured soloist for the world premiere of the David Lockington Viola Concerto with the Modesto Symphony Orchestra.

Professional affiliations include the American String Teachers Association (ASTA), American Viola Society (AVS), National Association for Music Education (NAfME), Music Educators National Conference (MENC), California Music Educators Association (CMEA), as well as a member of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM). In 2022, Towsey-Grishaw was selected by CMEA to present his research “Culturally Responsive Music Teaching in Elementary Music Education” at the California Music Educators Conference (CASMEC).

  • Education

    B.M., University of Denver
    P.S.D., San Francisco Conservatory of Music
    M.M., University of Miami
    D.M.A., University of Southern California