An Octave Above
Graduate Ian Morin departs Stetson with broadened musical range and a new personal tone.
Ian Morin was all set to attend DePaul University in Chicago. Excellent music institution. Great cultural city. Wonderful chance to make a mark away from his Deltona, Fla., home.
In the end, however, while convenience and expenses also were key components in his final decision, the overriding factor came from his previous several years of schooling. All of his teachers were Stetson University graduates.
“It was almost like bound to happen,” said Morin, a day before himself graduating from Stetson with a bachelor’s degree in music performance.
One early teacher, in particular, made the biggest difference, Ann Adams, D.M., who taught him lessons and also happened to be a professor of music at Stetson. Adams not only provided additional Hatter heritage, she encouraged Morin to nurture hidden musical talent as a bassoonist. At Deltona High, Morin had studied in the school’s medical academy, with an eye on medicine. Adams saw great potential elsewhere, with a woodwind instrument. He followed his heart.
“I enjoyed every second of music, but not every second of medical,” Morin recounts.
At Stetson, that passion quickly became evident throughout the School of Music’s McMahan Hall, where Morin appeared as a recitalist, soloist with orchestra, chamber musician and orchestral musician. “You get known and you get a better connection with everybody,” he explained, simply.
In turn, opportunities arose. He won Stetson’s 2014 Concerto Competition. He toured the United Kingdom in spring 2015 with the Stetson Chamber Orchestra. He was principal of both the Stetson University Symphonic Band and the Stetson University Symphony Orchestra. Also, he was a founding member of the RAINZ Woodwind Quintet, performing frequently on and off the DeLand campus.
“I could never have imagined I would get the opportunities I did. I never thought that they could happen to me,” he noted.
“There have been so many opportunities that this school has given me that I can’t pick just one moment; everything was just absolutely amazing.”
His first three years of study at Stetson were spent with Ashley Heintzen, D.M., a 21-year adjunct professor of bassoon at Stetson and a longtime orchestral performer. This past year he studied with Gabriel Bergeron-Langlois, another veteran of orchestras. Notably, he also performed in the master classes of Abe Weiss (former principal of Rochester Symphony Orchestra) and Martin Kuuskman (international soloist); studied with Mark Gigliotti (co-principal of Philadelphia Orchestra), Richard Svoboda (principal bassoonist of Boston Symphony Orchestra) and Barrick Stees (assistant principal bassoonist of the Cleveland Orchestra); and attended the Philadelphia International Music Festival.
During his time at Stetson, Morin grew by leaps and bounds or more appropriately, multiple octaves. Although characteristically personable and social, he transformed from being “definitely nervous” about the stage to viewing it as an “exhilarating experience” and one where “I’m finally showing all the work that I’ve been putting in.”
Similarly, the personal attention and academic rigors of Stetson taught him organization and the discipline to practice daily, even when no one is watching — at least five hours alone, not counting ensemble time. “I think that’s what is takes,” he said. “I respect all the teachers so much that I don’t want to be irresponsible. To hear Morin’s Junior Recital Performance at Stetson, click below:
He has learned patience, too.
This fall, Morin will attend graduate school at the Cleveland Institute of Music with plans to also obtain an Artist Diploma for specialized non-degree training. Following, there are no guarantees. He wants to play for a major orchestra, where, unlike at Stetson, the opportunities are limited. The Cleveland Orchestra, for example, has four bassoonists, and vacancies are infrequent.
“I know it’s going to take some time, but I’m willing to do what I have to do to get there,” he said, adding he might have to “start small and move up.”
With growth behind him, and plenty more ahead, Morin is emblematic of his fellow graduates, who made May 7 a day to remember at Spec Martin Memorial Stadium, during Stetson’s first outdoor commencement ceremony since the late 1970s.
Concluded Morin: “I’m definitely not the person I was coming into Stetson.”
by Michael Candelaria