Two weeks ago a group of students and alumni from the University of Dallas got together to record an album, gathering in one of the crummy old student apartments that we’ve all loved to hate. They crafted a beautiful and real collection of songs, poems and reflections, some original, some traditional. I loved going to UD for so many reasons. The week in which this album was recorded was an incredible testament to the best parts of that school; a young alumnus had just died very unexpectedly, and alumni from all over the country, even one young alumna teaching as far away as Korea, dropped everything without hesitation to come back to Irving to be with each other, remember their dear friend, and stand by his young widow, Emma.
From the album description: “Anyone who knew Andrew, or had only met him, knew that he lived most of his life in music. In fact, I don’t know of anyone who ever met him without his guitar on. So it was natural, when those of us who first learned of his sudden death and were struck down and sick at heart—, it was natural that we only wanted to hear songs, and only songs that reminded us of him.” Like so many UD students before him, he was also a great lover of poetry and literature, particularly works by Wallace Stevens and James Joyce. All of this is reflected in the tribute his friends have put together. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever heard. There’s no fancy editing, no polishing and perfecting—it’s just exactly what it is, exactly what it is meant to be: a group of friends remembering and honoring one of their own, complete with a few tears, and drinks raised to him. Someone made some short videos of the recording process; here is one of those:
Andrew leaves behind his wife, Emma, who was set to graduate this spring, his baby girl, Charlotte, who had her first birthday just after he died, and a second baby girl, due to arrive this fall. You can download and listen to the album for free, or make a donation to help his family, on this page. And, please share it with your friends and families.