As BCCO members we have witnessed Collin’s extraordinary accompanist abilities. Recently, a small group of us enjoyed a wonderful concert at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music showcasing his talents as a composer and conductor. All the music he created, using texts of Pablo Neruda, e.e.cummings, Emily Dickinson and Christina Rossetti, was beautiful and showed a versatility of styles. An amazing performance.
After the concert we talked briefly with David Conte, chair of the Conservatory’s composition department, and composer Mason Bates. Both had high praise for Collin.
Collin’s parents and grandmothers flew in from Michigan for the concert. His mom told us that Collin began studying piano at age 7 and finished the first music book (which usually takes kids about a year) in a month. By age 12, he’d told his parents that he wanted to be a musician.
His dad, smiling, said to us, “Of course, every kid that age dreams of being a rock star.” Interestingly, Collin’s “Sky Jaunt” for string quartet that he premiered at his concert had its origins in his remembering the opening of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”
Collin’s mom used to sing in Sweet Adelines and his dad in a barbershop quartet. Clearly there were lots of music genes that got passed on to their son.