There’s a saying in the performing arts to “shoot for the stars,” but bass-playing Andrew Wright and his Fugazi-inspired band “Red Medicine” never quite achieved lift off during his days touring New England as a student at the University of Maine at Farmington.
A versatile musician (he plays everything from banjo to trombone), Wright was undeterred, and soon found his way into other post-graduate ensembles.
When his future wife Bridget got a job teaching English at Foxcroft Academy in 2012, Wright followed her lead, eventually becoming the school’s director of residential life.
For the next five years, his life as the lead “dorm parent” (overseeing others in this role) generated a “million different stories”: from crawling over bathroom doors to save non-responsive kids to fielding 3 a.m. police reports involving wayward students to supporting student activities. He even routinely drove kids to the airport in Maine whiteout conditions.
But when Bridget’s mother was diagnosed with cancer in 2019, the couple returned to Southern Maine. Like learning to play another instrument, Wright sought a new line of work. He found exactly that at Trueline, where he was hired as an assistant content coordinator for Vanguard.
Working in Foxcroft’s admission office—interviewing parents and students and selling them on the school—quickly paid dividends.
“When you’re in charge of residential life, you’re debating with teenagers, convincing them to do everything from going to bed on time to following the rules,” Wright recalls. “You’re also connecting with people to help talk them through their concerns. All those skills came into play at Trueline.”
Wright’s versatility can be traced back to his childhood in Standish, Maine, where family and friends would often gather ‘round to play music. Starting with the recorder and singing as a child, he expanded his musical repertoire to include the alto saxophone, bass, guitar, banjo, trombone and piano. By the age of 15 he began writing his own music.
“It was certainly a part of our lives, but we were always encouraged to pursue many endeavors in the creative field,” Wright remembers.
Wanting to meld his musical passion with a degree in arts administration, Wright headed to the University of Maine Orono in 2007, but transferred to UMF in 2009, after finding a program more aligned with his passion. There, he became the Arts Administrative Club president and was involved with several nonprofits, including the Emery Community Arts Center and the Arts Institute of Western Maine. He would later become the performance coordinator and founder of The Café Project, which offered UMF students popular open mic nights.
“It’s so important to me to bring people together,” Wright says. “I was once asked what I’d want on my tombstone and I’d like it to say: ‘He created community wherever he went.’”
Graduating from UMF in 2011, Wright took a job as program developer at Emery until Bridget landed her teaching job at Foxcroft. Following her there, he first became an IT specialist at the school before his job promotion to residential life in 2014.
“I figured if I could debate 110 teenagers from around the world and come out winning I could do anything,” Wright says with a laugh.
He would bring that same confidence and versatility to Trueline’s editorial department in 2019. After a year honing his skills for Vanguard Magazine, he was promoted to managing content coordinator in June 2020.
“In a profession that often grinds people to dust, Trueline is a breath of fresh air and I feel truly valued here. Caring for others is a huge part of our culture here.”
In his new role, he embraced the opportunity to influence the department’s culture and operations—whether it was helping other content developers perfect their sales pitches or teaching them how to connect with people in an interview. It’s all about building rapport and setting up timelines and holding everyone accountable to that, he says.
“In a profession that often grinds people to dust, Trueline is a breath of fresh air and I feel truly valued here,” Wright says. “Caring for others is a huge part of our culture here.”
Dream Come True
Finding a permanent gig at Trueline and helping the team develop other publications like Terra Firma, Wright is setting his sights on the next big goal: buying a sheep farm, which he hopes to run one day with wife Bridget.
“Life’s about seizing those life changing moments rather than doggedly pursuing one flat direction. Sometimes it can be scary, but it’s always worth giving it a shot—and sometimes the planets align, like at Trueline.”
“Life’s about seizing those life changing moments rather than doggedly pursuing one flat direction,” Wright says. “It’s all about keeping an open mind and trying new things. Sometimes it can be scary, but it’s always worth giving it a shot—and sometimes the planets align, like at Trueline.”
In a way, he never stopped shooting for the stars.
The Andrew Wright stuff:
Memorable music: A Wynton Marsalis fan, Wright has a signed copy of one of the jazz legend’s albums. He even made “Sleepytime Down South” his wedding song .
Survival skills: During COVID-19, Wright not only learned to sew, but also developed a tabletop game along the lines of Dungeons and Dragons.
Chow time: Andrew and wife Bridget making everything from homemade enchiladas to bao baos and pot stickers.
Because the world’s opened up: A vaccinated Wright enjoys seeing family and making regular trips to Saco’s Palace Diner.
Words of wisdom: “No anticipation, only navigation” is a motto that helped him maintain a positive mindset after rough sales calls.