colin payne

William Bolcom and Joan Morris Fellow


“When I have traveled to Europe for music, many of the people I have met have said that I give off a “Detroit” vibe. Detroit’s diverse musical culture within the jazz, classical, and pop world have had huge impacts on the international music community and have affected my musical language considerably. From the sounds of a Detroit traffic jam to the tranquility of the Detroit River at night, it remains an inspiration for me as an artist.”

— Colin Payne

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Colin Payne's music has been described as "creating a symbiosis of drama and texture where the jagged edges of city life seamlessly connect with beautiful serene images among nature".

Surrounded by the sounds of Detroit from an early age, he was immersed in styles, such as the Motown sound of Hitsville, USA, the jazz of Russel Street and Baker's Keyboard Lounge, and the classical music of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. His compositions have been performed at venues and festivals in both Europe and the United States with premieres in New York City, Detroit, Chicago, Florence, Milan, Pavia, Stuttgart, and Siena.

Notable teachers and mentors include Mark Sullivan, Ricardo Lorenz, Gerald Custer, Lynn Goeringer, and Braxton Blake. Additionally, he has attended lessons and master classes with David Ludwig, George Tsontakis, Craig Bove, David Rakowski, Carlos Guedes, Robert Patterson, Beth Wiemann, and many others.

Currently, he is finishing up his Master's degree in Music Composition at Michigan State University where he has been the recipient of fellowships within the College of Music. Most recently, he completed an eight-week tour along the east coast of the United States, which included performances in North Carolina, Massachusetts, New York, and Maine. Additionally, he completed a film score for the feature-length film "Stay with Me", which premiered at the Traverse City Film Festival in July 2017.