Alumnus Andrew Baldwin wins alma mater lyrics contest

August 27, 2018

Watch the debut performance of our new alma mater by Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs Grace Crickette at the State of the University Address on Aug. 27, 2018. The lyrics were written by alumnus Andrew Baldwin of the Class of 2014, who won a contest in honor of our 150th anniversary, and was on hand to mark the occasion.

It’s humbling for Andrew Baldwin to think that people will be singing the lyrics he wrote, whenever Warhawks gather to celebrate in song, for many years to come.

“It’s just really exciting. As a musician, I’m always thinking about the lasting impression I can make — whether it’s through teaching music or composing.”

A 2014 graduate, Baldwin is the winner of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater alma mater lyrics contest, which was coordinated in conjunction with the campus’s 150th anniversary.

“I’ve written jazz tunes before and they were well received, so when I heard about the competition, I thought it was in the realm of possibility to win. It was a cool challenge — to write lyrics to a melody that already existed (the traditional Scottish tune, Candler).”

His inspiration was pride for his alma mater.

“I thought about my love for the institution and images of my time at UW-Whitewater — making sure to fit the words ‘Warhawks’ and ‘purple’ in key cadences of the melody.” A percussionist, Baldwin plays orchestral percussion instruments (snare, marimba, timpani), world percussion (congas, djembe, Brazilian Hand drums, doumbek) and drum set.

He lives in Chicago teaching music and playing music in theatre productions and dance performances. He plays regularly with Windy City Performs, a professional theatre and performing arts school, and has played in collaborations at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Baldwin gained extensive experience performing as a Warhawk with the university’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble, which included a gig at the Chicago Symphony Center in 2014. After earning his B.M. at UW-Whitewater, his mentors inspired him to pursue graduate school.

“My professors at UW-Whitewater really fostered that drive in me. They nurtured and supported, providing that important reality check at times. They inspire me to this day.”