Andrew Gribbin, University of Rhode Island senior vocal performance major from Coventry, Rhode Island, plans for a bright future in the world of music after graduating this coming fall.
Gribbin explained how he has always been musically inclined and knew he had the ability to sing. Throughout high school, Gribbin participated in band, playing the trumpet for 10 years. At age 17, he joined chorus and explained how everything just “snowballed from there.” He started taking voice lessons and realized that his voice was well-fit for opera. From then on, he started to get into classical music and pursued a career in opera performance.
“Classical music is a lot more challenging than pop music or something like that,” Gribbin said. “So, I really like that challenge. It’s hard, but rewarding.”
After high school, Gribbin decided to attend URI, with a double major in music education and vocal performance. He discovered that although he could teach, that was not what he wanted to do and his “heart wouldn’t be in it.”
Currently, Gribbin is a Baritone singer, and has been involved in various choirs. He previously sang in the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, the chorus of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Each summer, the chorus holds a festival in The Berkshires of Massachusetts. Gribbin explained how he had to audition to be apart of the chorus at the Symphony Hall in Boston a year ago. He said that the experience was really exciting, because he got the chance to sing with a lot of amazing conductors and performers.
Gribbin has also sung in some opera choruses for Upper Providence and is taking an opera workshop class at URI.
Recently, one of his professors, Rene de la Garza, asked if Gribbin could sing at an Anti-Bullying rally. Gribbin took a piece of classical music from the opera “Carmen” and set the melody and chorus of the piece to a poem that a 14-year-old boy wrote against bullying. He then sang the piece at the Providence Performing Arts Center in front of a crowd of high school students. Gribbin said that it was a good experience, and he thinks that it was received well by the students.
Although he sings classical music, Gribbin said that he will listen to any type of music, just to give it a chance.
“I try not to discriminate too much with different kinds of music because as someone whose life is going to be music, I feel like it would be dumb to dismiss any type,” Gribbin said. “It might not be something I thoroughly enjoy, but I respect it.”
Gribbin can be found performing in two upcoming shows, one at URI, and the other at Rhode Island College. He will be singing opera for the characters Papageno and Figaro for both opera workshops.
After graduation, Gribbin would like to go to graduate school but doesn’t know exactly where he wants to attend. Like most opera singers, he said that he would like to sing at the Metropolitan Opera one day, but he’d be happy just singing anywhere.
“I don’t really want to be famous or anything like that,” Gribbin said. “I just want to make a living doing what I love.”
He explained how URI has given him the opportunity to learn how to perform, and he enjoys singing in various genres other than opera, including jazz, musical theater and even pop.
“If there was magic in the world, music would be that magic,” Gribbin said. “And that’s why I love doing it.”