Andrea Blain's first experience behind a radio microphone did not initially draw her towards a career in broadcasting. Attempting live comedy for a college station was not as compelling as her classical music studies, though both had the power to excite and terrify in equal measure. The main focus of her work at Augsburg College and the U of M was on orchestral and choral conducting and performance on violin, viola, piano and organ. She moved to Northern Ireland in 1982, where she continued music research at Queen's University and worked as a freelance music teacher, performer and conductor. She's a founder member of the quintet Avalon, an ensemble that links the traditional music of Ireland with classical music.
Outside of the BBC, Andrea has also worked in various capacities in the area of library and archives, including a project in which she created an archive of artistic responses to the Troubles in Northern Ireland for the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. She also reviews poetry, musical theatre and classical music for the website Culture Northern Ireland and writes a weekly classical music column for the Belfast daily newspaper the Newsletter, the oldest English language daily paper still in publication. Her guilty pleasure is musical theatre, and she has been an adjudicator for the Association of Irish Musical Societies (AIMS). Outside of music, Andrea loves travel, film and theatre and animals of all kinds, especially her dog Buddy.
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