Cristin Colvin Is Not Like Other Musicians

by Monica Hoel

Cristin is pushing against the gatekeepers.

Cristin is a musician with talents and experience difficult to define. She’s a vocalist, a pianist, and even though she says she’s not a dancer, she has been known to dance when called upon. She’s an actress, a director, a show-runner, and she’s even tried her hand at arts administration. She’s also a poet, a composer, a recording artist, and a graphic artist. She performs jazz, sings opera, and has created an album of “metal opera with a gothic touch.”

And we probably missed a few things.

Cristin loves creating music and part of her enthusiasm for all this dabbling and genre-bending comes from the fact that she pushes against the notion that there is only one way to create music, even within a specific category. “People hear a recording of Maria Callas singing a piece of music and they think that’s the way it always has to sound.” Cristin prefers performing for audiences who have fewer preconceived notions because it gives her more artistic license. “I’ve honed in on what I do artistically, and I’m more at home with an audience that isn’t the aficionado.”

Cristin says every artistic arena, whether it’s fashion, art, music, has a small group of “taste-makers, for lack of a better word” who get to decide what is good, what is in good taste, what is acceptable. “And with that comes a lot of gatekeeping.”

She feels the gatekeeping can unfairly determine the type of artist who will get cast or denied for a role. It can also determine which projects get funded. “It can even go so far as determining an acceptable dress code for audience members, and in the long run it serves to leave people out of the experience.”

So if you expect to only see Cristin’s name on a narrowly defined sort of marquee, think again. In the spring of 2023 she’ll be performing with the Boulder Chamber Orchestra doing Beethoven’s Mass in C. In 2019, she stage directed an opera co-written by an entomologist in which she sang and danced the role of a locust’s ghost. And as soon as she has refined the recordings once more, she’ll be releasing an album of original scores. Did we mention that she was taking composition and arranging lessons from a pianist in an Italian death metal band?

Don’t look for an easy definition of this talented artist, but one thing you can be sure of is that she is going to complete the project with perfection. “Some people might call me a control freak.”

You can enjoy a conversation with Cristin on the Duck Pond Wall podcast, where you can learn about her music and also get intel on how her cat may be controlling her life. You can experience a bit of her work on her website: https://www.toxoplasmaarts.com/

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  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1200-putting-employees-first"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/231,0,844,613/8014_Doug_Dalton.rev.1586654328.webp 1x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/231,0,844,613/8014_Doug_Dalton.rev.1586654328.jpg 1x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/231,0,844,613/8014_Doug_Dalton.rev.1586654328.jpg" alt="Doug Dalton, E&H Class of 1994." width="345" height="225" data-max-w="613" data-max-h="613" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1200-putting-employees-first">Putting Employees First</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Doug Dalton (E&H ’94) has a lucrative business that is taking a hard hit during the pandemic: but he’s looking out for his employees. <a href="/live/news/1200-putting-employees-first" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1840-dr-laura-hainsworth-making-scientific-observations"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/88,90,453,454/9841_laura_Hainsworth.rev.1620315838.webp 1x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/88,90,453,454/9841_laura_Hainsworth.rev.1620315838.jpg 1x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/88,90,453,454/9841_laura_Hainsworth.rev.1620315838.jpg" alt="Dr. Laura Hainsworth, Emory & Henry Chemistry and Environmental Studies Professor and Director of the Bartlett-Crowe Field Station" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="365" data-max-h="364" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1840-dr-laura-hainsworth-making-scientific-observations">Dr. Laura Hainsworth: Making Scientific Observations “on the Farm”</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Emory & Henry’s Dr. Laura Hainsworth doesn’t agree with John Denver on one important point: life on the farm is anything but laid back. <a href="/live/news/1840-dr-laura-hainsworth-making-scientific-observations" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1079-mark-arrington-honored-for-innovative-teaching"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,324,278/7177_arrington_2.rev.1574356083.webp 1x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,324,278/7177_arrington_2.rev.1574356083.jpg 1x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,324,278/7177_arrington_2.rev.1574356083.jpg" alt="Mark Arrington, E&H Class of 2002." width="345" height="225" data-max-w="324" data-max-h="278" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1079-mark-arrington-honored-for-innovative-teaching">Mark Arrington Honored for Innovative Teaching</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Mark was honored by VAHPERD as their 2019 Teacher of the Year. <a href="/live/news/1079-mark-arrington-honored-for-innovative-teaching" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>