Conductor, Clarinetist, Entrepreneur
Colin Roshak is a member of the Graduate Conducting Program at Bard College and is a student of James Bagwell, Richard Hawkins and Tim Weiss.
Growing up in and around Boston, Colin attended the Walnut Hill School for the Arts and the New England Conservatory Preparatory School. During his time at Walnut Hill, Colin studied clarinet with Kai-Yun Lu, chamber music with Laura Thielke and composition with Whitman Brown.
Colin went on to Oberlin Conservatory where he studied clarinet with Richard Hawkins and conducting with Tim Weiss. It was here that Colin's fledgling interest in conducting became a passion.
In his freshman year, Colin founded the Oberlin String Orchestra - an ensemble of music majors, non-majors and local community members. He led the ensemble for four years, performing works of Dvorak, Grieg, Vaughn-Williams, Mahler, and many more. OSO concerts featured student soloists, and premiered new works by student composers.
After graduating in 2018, Colin moved to Alaska, where he split his time between Anchorage and Sitka. In Anchorage, he served as the winds coach and assistant conductor for the Alaska Youth Orchestras, played principal clarinet with the Anchorage Opera and managed a small studio of private clarinet students. On the side, Colin wrote for the Anchorage Daily News and Anchorage Press, and operated a small cottage-industry food business making hand-made gluten free pastas and baked goods.
While in Alaska, Colin spent his summers on Tlingit Aaní,
tucked away in the rainforests of southeast Alaska teaching
and performing at the Sitka Fine Arts Camp. Here he
taught woodwind methods and chamber music classes, and
often brought his students outside.
In 2020, as part of the Alaska Youth Orchestras organization,
Colin served as the director for the Alaska Virtual Symphony.
This community music program was designed to serve all Alaskans.
In it's inaugural season, the program serviced more than 60 musicians,
ages 5 to 80, from 14 different Alaskan communities, and was offered
completely free of charge. As part of the program, Colin curated a
three-part "Conversation Series" that featured flutists Amanda Galick and Kelly Zimba, pianist Daniel Hsu and Grammy Award-winning band Portugal. The Man.
In the fall of 2021, Colin returned to the east coast to begin his graduate studies as part of the Graduate Conducting Program at Bard College. He studies with James Bagwell, performs frequently as a clarinetist and leads ad-hoc concert events with musicians of The Orchestra Now, Bard Conservatory and singers from the Bard Vocal Arts Program.
Both as a clarinetist and conductor, Colin is a strong advocate for young composers and works continuously with student composers in performing, workshopping and recording new works. He frequently performs and records new works and is a guest conductor with Face The Music, a new music program for high school students based out of the Kaufman Music Center in New York City. He has worked with notable composers Elizabeth Oganek, Jesse Jones, Matthew Sargent, Justin Weiss, Paula Matthusen and Kyle Gann.
Recent engagements include fellowships and assistantships with the Classical Music Institute in San Antonio, Chicago Summer Opera, and performances in the pit (clarinetist) with City Lyric Opera in New York City. Colin serves as the music director and choir conductor at Freedom Plains United Presbyterian Church in LaGrange, NY.
Colin likes to start the day with a smoothie and his mind often drifts to the Chugach mountains. He has strong opinions about salt and pepper, highly recommends Maggie Nelsons’ The Argonauts, and encourages everyone to drink more water.