Cristin Colvin Is Not Like Other Musicians

Posted 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/

  • Cristin Colvin
    Emory & Henry Class of 2009
    Elizabeth Williamsberg

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  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/924-eamph-alumna-to-sing-national-anthem-at-bristol"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,624,463/6723_CD_3.rev.1565968008.webp 1x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,624,463/6723_CD_3.rev.1565968008.jpg 1x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,624,463/6723_CD_3.rev.1565968008.jpg" alt="Christina Druen at the 2018 Food City Race. She's singing the National Anthem for the 2019 race." width="345" height="225" data-max-w="624" data-max-h="463" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/924-eamph-alumna-to-sing-national-anthem-at-bristol">E&H Alumna to Sing National Anthem at Bristol Race This Weekend</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Christina Druen, E&H Class of 2016, will sing Friday night, August 16. <a href="/live/news/924-eamph-alumna-to-sing-national-anthem-at-bristol" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1446-tenacious-m"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/57,208,1132,1282/8749_IMG-5662.rev.1602784822.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/57,208,1132,1282/8749_IMG-5662.rev.1602784822.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/57,208,1132,1282/8749_IMG-5662.rev.1602784822.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/57,208,1132,1282/8749_IMG-5662.rev.1602784822.JPG 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/57,208,1132,1282/8749_IMG-5662.rev.1602784822.JPG 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/57,208,1132,1282/8749_IMG-5662.rev.1602784822.JPG" alt="Monica Gonzalez, Emory & Henry Class of 1998" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/57,208,1132,1282/8749_IMG-5662.rev.1602784822.JPG 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/57,208,1132,1282/8749_IMG-5662.rev.1602784822.JPG 3x" data-max-w="1075" data-max-h="1074" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1446-tenacious-m">Tenacious M</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> When Monica Gonzalez was a student at Emory & Henry (Class of 1998) the dean of students told her she was “tenacious.” At the time, she wasn’t exactly sure how to take that. <a href="/live/news/1446-tenacious-m" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1369-got-a-minute-catch-up-with-veteran-teacher-mary"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,222,1788,2011/8545_image0000001.rev.1600188531.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,222,1788,2011/8545_image0000001.rev.1600188531.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,222,1788,2011/8545_image0000001.rev.1600188531.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,222,1788,2011/8545_image0000001.rev.1600188531.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,222,1788,2011/8545_image0000001.rev.1600188531.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,222,1788,2011/8545_image0000001.rev.1600188531.jpg" alt="Mary Lampkins, E&H Class of 1988." width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,222,1788,2011/8545_image0000001.rev.1600188531.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,222,1788,2011/8545_image0000001.rev.1600188531.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1788" data-max-h="1789" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1369-got-a-minute-catch-up-with-veteran-teacher-mary">Got a Minute? Catch up with veteran teacher Mary Lampkins (’88)</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Mary Lampkins (E&H ’88) says her older siblings had to endure her “playing teacher” when she lined them up for pretend school as early as when she was five years old. But she has used an impressive career in education to prove that she wasn’t just playing. And in 2020, Mary retired after 32 years of teaching in the Washington County, Virginia, school system. <a href="/live/news/1369-got-a-minute-catch-up-with-veteran-teacher-mary" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1551-dave-mcglothlin-says-theres-always-something-new"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,640,640/9083_IMG_2599.rev.1607004343.webp 1x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,640,640/9083_IMG_2599.rev.1607004343.JPG 1x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,640,640/9083_IMG_2599.rev.1607004343.JPG" alt="Dave McGlothlin, Emory & Henry Class of 1986" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="640" data-max-h="640" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1551-dave-mcglothlin-says-theres-always-something-new">Dave McGlothlin Says There’s Always Something New to Learn from History</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> In 2015 Dave McGlothlin won the honor of being History Teacher of the Year for Massachusetts. But he readily admits that he is constantly learning new stories from our country’s history. <a href="/live/news/1551-dave-mcglothlin-says-theres-always-something-new" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>