Past the Press Release is an interview series featuring a new member of a professional Southern Gospel group. It’s a chance to look past the standard “excited to be here” press release comment and learn a little more about them. Meet Union Street baritone Andrew Goldman!
Daniel: Over the last few months, Union Street (formerly The Ryan Seaton Quartet) has generated enough buzz and won enough fans that I thought readers would be interested to see an interview with the group’s newest face. I understand that this isn’t your first time singing with a Southern Gospel group, though. What group(s) have you sung with previously?
Andrew: I’ve been around Gospel music my entire life. I joined the Conquerors Quartet as their lead singer in 2006, when I was a Sophomore in high school. Once, I began my college career at Oakland City University, I joined their ambassador Gospel group, Earthlight. I traveled with both groups during my college years.
Daniel: What or who inspired you to start singing?
Andrew: My family has been my inspiration. My dad started singing with the Conquerors Quartet when I was six months old. I always wanted to be like him, and be a member of the group. I have had the honor of singing alongside of him with the Conquerors since 2009. Not only is he an amazing vocalist, (100 times better than I’ll ever be), he’s completely in tune with what God has in store for each and every one of our concerts. Not only does my father sing, but my mom has one of the smoothest alto voices you have ever heard. She sounds a lot like Karen Carpenter. I’m blessed with such talented parents. I also have had the opportunity to sing with both of them as a trio.
Daniel: Have you had any vocal training, formal or informal?
Andrew: Yes, I actually just graduated with degrees in Music Education and Vocal Performance from Oakland City University. My instructor, Cynthia Retana, has been a tremendous influence in my music. She has helped develop my voice, and helped to take it to the next level. I have studied Italian Arias, Opera, English Oratorio, German Lieder, French, and English Arias under her direction.
Daniel: Readers might be interested to know about a musical connection you share with Ernie Haase, Scott Fowler, Jeremy Lile, and Dusty Barrett. Could you elaborate?
Andrew: Yes, these fantastic artists were once members of Oakland City University’s ambassador Gospel group, Earthlight. I have been a member of Earthlight during my college years.
Daniel: Why the big glasses and bow tie?
Andrew: Union Street wants to not only appeal to current Gospel music fans, but we want to appeal to future, younger fans of Gospel music. Our style and sound is more progressive gospel. The glasses set me apart from others, and I’ve always been a huge fan of the bow-tie.
Daniel: I love bow ties, by the way—I wear one myself when I wear a tie! Do you have other musical talents, perhaps playing an instrument, running sound, or something else?
Andrew: I’ve played the drums since I was 11. I’ve had the opportunity to play alongside some great musicians. I actually started with the Conquerors as their fill-in drummer during their time traveling with a live band. I would not consider myself a sound man, but I did run sound during my time with Earthlight.
Daniel: How long have you known Ryan Seaton?
Andrew: I met Ryan during his time with Signature Sound. At the time, I wasn’t aware that he lived, basically just down the road from me. I later found out, we actually graduated from the same high school (He, of course, long before me). We became friends during this time and have kept in touch.
Daniel: When did you first find out about what is now Union Street, and join in?
Andrew: Ryan called me one day on my way home from work asking me if I would be interested in singing for fun at his upcoming solo concert at his home church. He said that he had an itch to sing with a quartet, and thought it would be fun to put a group together as a surprise at the concert. That’s how it all began.
Daniel: Can you fill us in on plans for Union Street’s debut recording?
Andrew: Union Street is hoping to get into the recording studio soon. We are currently raising funds for this. If you or someone you know would like to help, check it out on KickStarter here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/unionstreet/union-streets-debut-recording.
I’m also currently working on my first solo project, set to release this summer.
Daniel: How can readers keep up with you and with Union Street?
Andrew: Follow us on Facebook (Union Street). You can also follow us on Twitter @unionstreetqt. You can also follow me @agoldman_12, Tony @TobyHitchcock, Ryan @rseaton1.
Daniel: Thank you for taking the time to do this!
Andrew: Thank you, sir!