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Quinton I. Morris enjoys a multifaceted career as a concert violinist, chamber musician, teacher, director and founder of The Young Eight String Octet. Originally from Renton, Washington, Dr. Morris has performed solo and chamber music performances in the United States, Europe and the Middle East. Notable concert appearances include a recital with Metropolitan Opera soprano Indra Thomas and Byron Schenkman at Benaroya Hall, concerto performances at the Champs-Elyseé Theatre in Paris, France, the Guildhall School in London, England, the Roman Catholic Theatre in Bohn, Germany and the Austin Chamber Music Center Chamber Orchestra in Austin, Texas. He is the recipient of numerous competition awards including The Boston Conservatory Chamber Music Honors Competition, the Louisiana Junior Philharmonic Orchestra Young Artist’s Concerto Competition, Seattle Philharmonic Concerto Competition, the NAACP ACT-SO Competition, the North Carolina Federation of Music Clubs String Competition and the Ebony Showcase Music Award.
As the artistic/executive director and founder of The Young Eight String Octet, Dr. Morris has performed with his group in chamber music recitals across the country. The Young Eight, America’s only string octet is comprised of distinguished African- American string players from the nation’s prestigious music schools and conservatories. Last season, The Young Eight returned to New York for concerts at York College’s Distinguished Artists Series, Music Mondays Chamber Music Series and a host of residencies. In addition, The Young Eight debuted at the Jewel Box Chamber Music Series at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, the Young Artists Performing Arts Series at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, and Pigott Auditorium at Seattle University. The Young Eight celebrated their fifth anniversary with a national Black college tour and hosted its inaugural Emerging Composers Competition for young composers. The Young Eight served as Artists in Residence at a number of universities and chamber music societies, including, the University of Washington World Series, York College Distinguished Artists Series, Raleigh Chamber Music Guild, Morehouse College, Fayetteville State University, Johnson C. Smith University, the University of Texas-Austin and Wichita State University. The Young Eight perform regularly at Seattle Symphony’s Benaroya Hall and have received honors for their Seattle performances by the King County Executive County Council, Seattle Weekly (Best New Chamber Music Group for 2005) and Colors Northwest Magazine. The Young Eight have also served as Artists in Residence at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, North Carolina School of the Arts, Huston-Tillotson University, Longhorn Music Camp and the University of Texas-Austin. Most recently, The Young Eight received a Medal of Honor by the United State Military for their commitment to public and community service. In addition, The Young Eight host a String Seminar chamber music summer festival for high school and college music students.
Administratively, Dr. Morris was the youngest member sworn on as vice-chair for the King County Children and Family Commission. He served as secretary on the Children and Family Commission Executive Board, and as a member of The Youth Involvement Executive Board and Xavier University Executive Student Body Association Board. He has also served as administrative assistant to The Boston Conservatory String Department chairman and Boston Pops member Andrew Mark. In addition, Dr. Morris was recognized during Black History Month by the State of Washington’s House of Representatives for his accomplishments as both a teacher and musician.
During the summer of 2002, Dr. Morris served as a teacher’s assistant to Walter Schwede, at Seattle Youth Symphony’s Marrowstone Music Festival. He has served on the artist roster and string faculty for the Austin Chamber Music Center Boston Arts Academy High School and Huston-Tillotson University.
Dr. Morris began his studies at Xavier University of Louisiana, where he studied Pre-Law and violin privately with Rachel Jordan. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from The North Carolina School of the Arts and a Master of Music degree from The Boston Conservatory. Most recently, Dr. Morris earned a Doctor of Musical Arts at The University of Texas at Austin, where he studied violin with Daniel Ching, first violinist of the Miró String Quartet. His past teachers include Lynn Chang, Max Levinson, Irina Muresanu and Walter Schwede.
Dr. Morris is currently the Director of Chamber and Instrumental Music and Assistant Professor of Music at Seattle University. His octet, The Young Eight serves as Artists in Residence. Most recently, Dr. Morris debuted with the Seattle Symphony performing Mozart’s Violin Concerto no. 3 in G major. This season, Dr. Morris will debut the Barber Violin Concerto with the Thalia Symphony.