Kim (DeLuccio) Collins (BM 1992) studied Flute at Hartt from 1988 to 1993. She is currently living in Trumbull, CT.
What have you been up to since you graduated from Hartt?
So many things have happened in the last 20-plus years! I got married to Steve Collins (BM Percussion, 1989). On the teaching front, I taught at Hartt Community Division for about 7 years, maintained an active private teaching studio, and also did some teaching at Fairfield University, Choate Rosemary Hall, and Neighborhood Music School. As far as performing is concerned, I never stopped after school. I decided early on that I really enjoyed the freedom and variety of being a freelance artist, and I have been fortunate to play with so many great musicians along the way. I have played solo recitals, chamber music, orchestral music, been featured soloist with orchestra here and there, lots of shows including some work on Broadway, and a few recordings…a really fun variety.
In 2007 we had the first addition to our family, and now have two little boys in Elementary School, so that keeps things in perspective and is a huge project in itself.
What are you involved with right now?
I am currently performing in a freelance capacity with the Vermont, Springfield, Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport, and Albany Symphonies as well as in the pit for nationally touring shows that come through the state. I am also Principal Flutist with the Waterbury Symphony. I am teaching at home and at Southern Connecticut State University. I’m always looking for new and interesting projects so I’m open to ideas for fun collaborations and concerts. Sometimes I feel as if, although I really enjoy orchestral music, that I have some untapped spark for other genres that I want to explore. I hope I can do more of that in the coming years.
I enjoy running and cooking, and being the best mom I can be to my two boys. I’ve been known to hit local boot camps and flip some tires and push some prowlers around here and there and always enjoy a good physical challenge like an obstacle race.
What is one of your most memorable things about your time at Hartt?
I hate to repeat what others have said, but…there are so many!
Mr. Lepak with his cigar hanging out of the corner of his mouth, performing Concerto for Orchestra at the MENC conference with Arthur Winograd conducting, playing with the Emerson String Quartet, coachings with Moshe Paranov, our trips to NYC to play in Town Hall and Alice Tully hall, working in the Information Booth, Mr. Rauche stamping my papers with a dancing pig in a tutu, and especially my lessons and studio classes with John Wion. I loved getting the chance to play the flute in so many different settings. A huge thank you also for the life-changing moment in which Dr. Feierabend said that we shouldn’t use a Music Education degree as something to fall back on. I recall being wracked with guilt at that statement, and feeling like a sham. He inspired me to change my major to performance, and I know it was the right choice for me.
What did you learn during while at Hartt that you did not appreciate or recognize until after time passed and you had some time to reflect?
I think one of the things that I did not take full advantage of during my time at Hartt was the incredible resources available to me through the wisdom of teachers and players of other instruments. I wish that I had done more playing for teachers of different instruments in settings outside of mandatory coachings. I wish I had realized what an incredible chance I had on a daily basis to play my instrument for fellow students of all pursuits and to receive valuable feedback. Possibly, I may have expanded my horizons even further had I realized that, on a daily basis, I was walking through a goldmine of untapped feedback and advice.
I recall, at a coaching with Burt Lucarelli, being given some incredible advice about changing vowel shapes in the mouth while playing. Because this wasn’t something that was regularly discussed in this particular way at my own flute lessons, I immediately balked at trying what he had asked of me. I believe I accompanied this balking with a statement such as: “This might work well on oboe, but we don’t do this on the flute.” (Yikes.) He just smiled and continued on. Another resource just thrown away! Of course, as I matured and taught my own students, I realized how critical the shape of the oral cavity is to playing and utilized each and every concept Mr. Lucarelli was trying to teach me with my own performance and with my own students. I must mention that I never forgot that day, and just a few years ago, at the wedding of an oboe player friend, I ran into Mr. Lucarelli again. I told him the story of my flutistic inflexibility and insolence during his coaching session and apologized profusely. We had a good laugh about it, a big hug, and later hit the dance floor.
What is next for you?
I recently started a long-shelved project of creating my own website, and I also started a blog. It’s very new, but I really enjoy the outlet of writing about all aspects of freelance performing and also about teaching and learning. I find being able to write about my life and what I do to be very therapeutic. I hope to continue writing about my experiences well into the future.
Flutistically, I really want to learn how to officially beatbox and to play in a salsa band. There is only so much time in a day…but I have so much I still want to do!
We are also looking into relocating to the Farmington, CT area due to Steve’s new job as Director of Artistic Operations and Administration with the Hartford Symphony. So, I look forward to continuing to raise my family in a new place, and to meeting and collaborating with new artists in the area. I’m open to new ideas and experiences. Bring them on!
How can people to get in touch?