Andrew C Towsey-Grishaw

Andrew C Towsey-Grishaw, D.M.A

Director of String Studies, University String Symphony, Viola

Pederson Ranch House


Dr. Andrew Cervantes Towsey-Grishaw currently serves as the Interim Director of String Studies at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, CA. He also conducts the University String Symphony, provides lessons to viola students, coaches chamber music ensembles, and teaches courses in music theory, music history, and music education. 


Towsey-Grishaw completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Viola Performance from the University of Southern California, Thornton School of Music. Secondary emphasis areas for this degree are Music Teaching and Learning, Instrumental Conducting, and Early Music Performance. His primary conducting teachers include Larry Livingston, Sharon Lavery, and Cristian Grases. Prior to doctoral study at USC, Towsey-Grishaw earned a Master of Music from the University of Miami, Frost School of Music, a Professional Studies Diploma from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Denver, Lamont School of Music. 


Towsey-Grishaw’s principal teachers on viola include Karen Dreyfus, Jodi Levitz, Jay Liu, and Basil Vendryes. As a freelance violist, Towsey-Grishaw performs throughout Southern California with a variety of ensembles including the Pacific Symphony, the New West Symphony, the Downey Symphony, American Contemporary Ballet, and the Jacaranda Ensemble. He is active in recording sessions in a variety of locations in an array of genres. A passionate advocate for contemporary classical music, Towsey-Grishaw has been collaborating with living composers for many years. In 2019, Towsey-Grishaw premiered David Lockington’s “Violet Viola Concerto” with the Modesto Symphony Orchestra. 


Professional affiliations include the American String Teachers Association, American Viola Society, National Association for Music Education, Music Educators National Conference, California Music Educators Association, as well as a member of the American Federation of Musicians. In early 2022, he presented research on Culturally Responsive Music Teaching at the California Music Educators Conference (CASMEC). 


Doctor of Musical Arts - University of Southern California (2022)

Master of Music - University of Miami (2019)

Professional Studies Diploma - San Francisco Conservatory of Music (2017)

Bachelor of Music - University of Denver (2016)


  • Viola Performance & Chamber Music 
  • Orchestral Conducting 
  • Music Education 
  • Music History