Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Composer Profile: Colin Regan in Conversation with Christian Baldini

Colin Regan is still in high school, and this month he will have an orchestra piece of his given its world première by the Camellia Symphony Orchestra, which is well known for its frequent collaborations with living composers. Not many high schoolers receive such opportunities, but this month, Parker Van Ostrand (another high schooler) will be performing as our soloist with the orchestra as well. This fits within our mission of promoting young talent, as well as creating opportunities for exceptionally gifted composers and performers who deserve a space in the concert platform. This season the Camellia Symphony Orchestra performed multiple works by female composers, African American composers and Latin American composers.

Christian Baldini: Colin, I imagine you must be quite excited about having your work "Solace" premiered by the Camellia Symphony Orchestra in Sacramento. It is a rare opportunity for a high school age composer to receive a premiere by an established orchestra. Tell us about your piece, its title, and anything that you'd like to share about it.

Colin Regan: I am extremely excited and honored to hear my music performed by the Camellia Symphony Orchestra. It has been a dream of mine to compose for an established orchestra for many years now, and it is both wonderful and surreal to know that this is happening. The piece I wrote for the Camellia Symphony Orchestra is called "Solace". It begins with a graceful solo on the French horn, which was the first instrument I learned how to play when I was seven years old. The piece gradually builds as more instruments are featured, including the woodwinds and the cello section, until the initial theme is brought back, this time played by the entire orchestra. I chose to call it "Solace", because it is a rather peaceful and introspective piece, while there are still undertones of tension and disquietude, driving it to its emotional culmination.

CB: How did you become interested in music? Who have been your main teachers or mentors?

CR: I have been interested in music for as long as I can remember. As a toddler, I remember being exposed to a lot of beautiful music; it also helped that several members of my family are very musical. I have had many teachers and mentors over the years, but I truly feel that my biggest "teachers" have been the composers that came before me: Tchaikovsky, Joe Hisaishi, and John Williams, to name a few. Listening to their work has taught me so much about music, not only influencing me, but inspiring me.

CB: You spent a year studying abroad in Sweden. Did that change you in any way, and if so, how?

CR: Living in Sweden did change me. Last year, I got to know so many wonderful people and I got to study at the biggest music-focused high school in the country. By the end of my year there, I felt almost like a different person.

CB: What would you like to study in college? And what are your dreams? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

CR: In college, I would like to major in music composition. My dream is to be able to compose for a profession and spread my music to as many people as I can. I feel that music itself holds an extreme amount of power to move people emotionally, particularly when a medium as lush and complex as a symphony orchestra is being used. I don't have a solid vision of where I will be in ten years, but as long as I can keep creating music, I know I will be content.

Colin Regan is a composer in the Sacramento area. He is currently a senior at George Washington Carver School of Arts and Science and will begin studying music at American River College this fall. Writing music is his deepest passion, and he is beyond excited to be working with the Camellia Symphony Orchestra.


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