Two Harvard Musicians Honored

Chase E. Morrin ’15 and Kevin Sun ’14 will be recognized for musical excellence by the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Program, which selected accomplished musicians between the ages of 16 to 21 to take part in a concert this weekend at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind.

The national competition chose eight winners from the hundreds who applied, according to John Wittmann, Yamaha’s band and orchestral division’s manager of education and artist relations.

The eight will be flown to Indiana this weekend as part of an all-expenses-paid trip, where they will be honored with a ceremony and will participate in workshops designed to further their music careers.

“This is designed to launch the careers of young players who are gifted,” Wittmann said.

Morrin is a jazz pianist. He was judged by Mike Garson, a musician in the same field who has worked with David Bowie. Sun, who is also a Crimson magazine editor, plays tenor saxophone. His judge was Jeff Coffin, a member of the Dave Matthews Band.

“We had more jazz winners this year than we’ve ever had,” Wittmann said. “Usually we only have one.”

Though Morrin and Sun applied separately, the two have regularly practiced and performed together.

“The thing with jazz is that it’s really a social activity,” Morrin said.  “It’s about meeting people, it’s about playing with other people, and it’s about connecting and exchanging ideas.”

Sun said that he and Morrin have also collaborated with Josh Shpak, a jazz trumpeter who attends Berklee College of Music and was also recognized by Yamaha.

“I don’t think any of us knew we were applying, and then we all won,” Sun said.  “Funny how things turn out.”

Sun plans to blog about the experience of attending the symposium. Both he and Morrin said they intend to continue to pursue music professionally.

“Music is a beautiful thing,” Morrin said.  “None of us really know what we’re doing, but we’re trying to explore, and we will be for the rest of our lives.”

—Staff writer Maya S. Jonas-Silver can be reached at mayajonas-silver@college.harvard.edu.

—Staff writer Petey E. Menz can be reached at menz@college.harvard.edu.

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