The Archives

Welcome to our "Archives" page, where we share exciting and interesting documents related to Safioleas's musical studies, performances, and more! 

Welcome Letter from Robert G. Brink

Safioleas studied the violin privately with the late Robert G. Brink of the New England Conservatory while in high school.   He has so many fond memories from his lessons with Maestro Brink.   Mr. Brink was an early riser, as shown by the time he wrote this letter - Thursday at 4am!  This is a letter that the master educator sent to him, which welcomed him as his next violin student.  

It begins, "Congratulations on passing your audition - I wish I could have been there to hear it!" 

The audition that Mr. Brink was referring to was for the Massachusetts All-State Orchestra, which performed at Symphony Hall in Boston, Massachusetts, on Saturday, March 13, 2004.  Maestro Brink coached Safioleas on the audition piece, which was the first movement of Dmitri Kabalevsky's Violin Concerto in C Major, Op. 48. 

All-State Concert Ticket

A wonderful memory, this ticket was from the Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA) All-State Concert, which was held at Symphony Hall in Boston, Massachusetts, on Saturday, March 13, 2004 at 1pm.  Safioleas had the privilege of performing with the All-State Orchestra at the event as a violinist.  He recalls performing Rachmaninoff's Second Symphony in E Minor, Op. 27, that afternoon.  Safioleas was subsequently interviewed by the local radio station regarding his opportunity to perform at the historic concert venue. 

Example Tickets and an Example Program

Here are two tickets from previous concert fundraiser events hosted and coordinated by Safioleas, in addition to a program cover from one of the events.  Shortly after he graduated pharmacy school, Safioleas approached his colleague and friend, Maria "Ria" Clough, about working with her to establish concert fundraiser events in the area.  The intention would be to donate proceeds raised to the American Cancer Society.  Clough--having had experience with charity fundraising for years--embraced the idea with open arms.  The concerts ran approximately twice a year, and their presenting team--The "Pharmacy Flamingos"--raised over $15,000 from 2013-2019.  

The events were typically held at the James Arnold Mansion at the Wamsutta Club in New Bedford, Massachusetts.   From 2016-2019, the Spring Concerts were held at the M. Steinert and Sons Steinway Recital Hall, formerly located in Natick, Massachusetts.  These were exciting opportunities, not only from an educational standpoint; but from a professional and philanthropic one, as well.  Students and colleagues of Safioleas performed at the concerts.  

Andrew As A Child

Here, a photograph was taken of Andrew as he performed for his classmates at the Jireh Swift Elementary School in New Bedford, Massachusetts, in the 1990s.  Andrew would frequently give performances to his classmates as a treat.  

Andrew began playing the violin in the third grade.  His instructor, Marilyn Melanson, visited his class one day with her sister--also a stringed instrument instructor--Teresa Ouellette, to introduce the students to stringed instruments.  Marilyn and Teresa performed various duets, including "Popeye the Sailor Man" and "Turkey in the Straw."  The rest, as they say, is history!  Elements from Andrew's childhood experiences with music are present in his juvenile educational work, "The Wonderful Gift Of Music."

Andrew and Norma Gulecas

The late Norma Gulecas introduced Andrew to the Fall River Symphony Orchestra of Fall River, Massachusetts while he was in high school.  Thanks to her encouragement and referral, Andrew joined the Fall River Symphony Orchestra as a first violinist.  The Symphony was then under the direction of Maestro Ann Danis.  Andrew played with the FRSO for the remainder of his high school career, and after he graduated college, he re-joined the group.  Little did he know, he would also end up serving on its Board of Directors and as the Personnel Manager for several years. 

Andrew with His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios and Reverend Bebis

Here, Andrew is with His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios of Boston (Center) and the Late Very Reverend Archimandrite Constantine S. Bebis (Right) at the Greek Orthodox Church, formerly located in New Bedford, Massachusetts.  Andrew performed a version of the emotional and chilling, Χορός του Ζαλόγγου ("Dance of Zalongo") on his violin for all those in attendance.  

Andrew at Symphony Hall

Here, Andrew is with his mother, sister, and father in front of the Henry Lee Higginson bust at Symphony Hall in Boston, Massachusetts.  The date was Saturday, March 13, 2004, and Andrew had concluded his performance with the Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA) All-State Orchestra. 

Supporters of Safioleas

Safioleas has had the great fourtune of overwhelming support from his family, friends, teachers, and  colleagues.  He continually acknowledges that his successes would not be possible without it.  Safioleas makes a considerable effort to channel this positivity, not only in his teachings, but in his performances, as well.

Emily Caron - Musical Composition

Safioleas strongly encourages and welcomes creativity among his students.  Here, he had the pleasure of being gifted an original composition by his former piano student, Emily Caron.  The piece--with lyrics--was entitled, "The Dancing Tropical Penguin."  This audience shot captures Emily.  

Thank You Card - The Thomas Family

It is always incredibly heartwarming to observe the impact that a teacher's education has on his or her students.  Safioleas has had many rewarding experiences over the years.  Here, the family of his former violin student, Madison Thomas, thanks him for his years of instruction and leadership.  Additionally, Madison writes a personal note.   Safioleas would later go on to teach violin to Madison's sister, Kendall, after Madison left the area to pursue  her college studies. 

Andrew at Weddings and Other Events

Andrew has had the great pleasure of  performing at weddings and special events.  Here are some shots taken of him.   The church image is Andrew at 15 years old, in December of 2002, performing at a Holiday Program at the St. George Greek Orthodox Church, formerly in New Bedford, MA. 

Thank You Card - Maria and Scott Benson

Here is a Thank You card, received from Maria and Scott Benson, for his performance at their wedding ceremony on Saturday, August 25, 2018, in Brewster, MA.  Andrew performed the violin on their special day, and works included wedding classics, as well as special requests from Maria and Scott.  It was a beautiful, sunny day, and the evening was perfect.  

Thank You Card - Rachel and Matt Borges

Here is a Thank You card, received from Rachel and Matt Borges, for his anticipated performance at their wedding ceremony on Saturday, June 4, 2016, in Newport, RI.   Another beautiful day all around. 

Photo (above): Safioleas, in April 2001, at the age of 14, leading the All-City Jr. High School String Orchestra of New Bedford, Massachusetts.

New Bedford High School Holiday Festival Concert - Example Program

Here is an example program from the Holiday Festival Concert at New Bedford High School, held on Sunday, December 14, 2003.  Safioleas was actively engaged as a musician throughout his grade school education.  This photo, below,  depicts him at a rehearsal in high school (Crimson Log, Vol. 66, Page 92).

Safioleas in the Northeastern University Symphony Orchestra

While attending Northeastern University, Andrew joined the University's Symphony Orchestra during the Fall 2007 term.  His courseload was the lightest it would ever be at that time, so he took advantage of the opportunity.  It was a rewarding one all around for him.  Here, he is shown conducting the "Waltz of the Flowers," as well as performing in the first violin section of the Orchestra.  He was 20 years old.

Programs from Previous Events

Safioleas thoroughly enjoys performing at events, as well as entertaining.  He often encourages music students to perform at concerts and recitals.   Here is an example Creative Arts Network Festival Program, where Safioleas performed with frequent collaborator Judith Conrad, as well as an example program from a violin recital given by his first music student, Elizabeth Brunner (Shangraw).