Since my first days of singing with the Boy Singers of Maine back in 1998, to my performances across Europe, to Marketing and performing for opera companies in Brooklyn and on 42nd st, the thing that has kept me going is my passion for music.
Growing up in Maine, my options for musical training were limited. Both my parents being working class people with very little musical background, they gave me as many opportunities as they could, but I knew if I wanted to make a life out of this I would have to seek training elsewhere. I auditioned for several conservatories around the country, and was fortunate to be accepted into the Opera program at SUNY Purchase. I had never even heard an opera before I made my decision to go there, but I knew the training would be top notch, and the experience would be priceless.
I instantly fell in love with the classical style of singing. The idea that we can train our bodies to produce a sound louder than a full orchestra was enough to send shivers down my spine. But as I continued through the program I also became addicted to the poetry, the history, and the culture around classical music.
After leaving college, I spent several years performing around Europe and Manhattan. Each new role I learned brought with it new challenges, but equally as many lessons. I was privileged to work with incredible directors and conductors throughout this time, and I will never forget those opportunities.
After moving back to Maine, several months prior to the covid pandemic, I found a new passion in songwriting. I explored many new genres of music trying to find my personal sound. I’m still looking for it, but what it has shown me, is that music has power in all styles. We have all heard a piece at a moment in our lives when we truly needed it and it built us up, or made us reflect on moments in our lives we missed. Through music, we are able to portray emotions that we do not have words for. We are able to share experiences, feelings, dreams, through a language that speaks universally to the soul.
It really seems wild that when I break down what I do, in basic terms, it’s breathing in and yelling in pretty tones. But I know the emotions, passions, and love I have experienced throughout this journey would not have been possible if that was all it was.
Now that the world has paused, and the pandemic has shuttered performance halls around the world, I find myself often wondering why music is important. Why should I continue to focus on something that no longer seems viable as a means to support myself? The short answer is that it is what I have done my entire life, it is what I have dreamed of doing ever since I first set foot on Lyric Music theater’s stage as a Munchkin in the Wizard of Oz over twenty years ago. Why would I do anything else?
Music can be a healing tool, it can bring joy even in the darkest of times. Singing, is just another way of accessing that universal language that connects us all. My hope is that as we move forward as a society, we all get a chance to make a little more music.
As a member of the STAGES Team, Colin is a music director, a sound/music recording engineer, a teaching artist, the voice instructor in the private lessons studio, and many other roles!