Stringing his way to Ireland

By Kurt Harnish ’20, staff writer

Most seniors at LVC are advancing onto careers, graduate school or looking for jobs; Andrew Martz has a unique experience waiting for him once he graduates.

Andrew Martz, a senior physics major, is headed to Ireland to study at the Lagan Lutherie School, which is world-renowned. The school teaches students how to build high-end acoustic guitars based off older traditional techniques. Martz feels that this school has a lot to offer.

“I will spend six months receiving one-on-one instruction from some of the best guitar makers in Europe,” Martz said. “I’m excited to be able to work with and learn directly from some of the absolute best luthiers in Europe, and dare I say the world.”

Martz discovered the school through a parent of a former LVC international student; a family friend of the student owns a guitar shop in Ireland which sells guitars made from the school. Martz was able to talk to the head of the school while in Ireland. Martz knew he wanted to go.

“I had the good fortune of being able to meet the man who runs the school while I was in Northern Ireland over spring break, traveling with the Allwein Scholars,” Martz said. “After that, it was a no-brainer that I was going to attend there.”

Making acoustic guitars by hand has nothing to do with a physics degree, but Martz is following his passion.

“This is something that I am doing for me, completely unrelated to my degree in Physics,” Martz said. “I mostly just want people to know that just because you get a degree in something doesn’t mean that is all you are allowed to focus on post-graduation.”

Martz is ready to start a new chapter of his life, knowing he will miss LVC. He will also have to adjust to being in a foreign country.

“I have gotten so used to seeing my friends and hanging out with people my age every day, but I will be a few thousand miles away from everyone for six months,” Martz said. “I am obviously nervous about living in a foreign country for so long by myself, but the excitement I have for traveling outweighs that by far.”

The excitement is music to Martz’s ears.