Musician Corin Kinkhabwala

Alanna Weissman

Though Corin Kinkhabwala, from Pelham, N.Y., is now an accomplished musician, his involvement in the arts at Colgate is an unlikely one.

“I originally came to Colgate with the intention of majoring in physics,” Kinkhabwala said. “Colgate ended up being my choice because of the new science building and the gorgeous campus. I wanted a liberal arts experience, however, because I had interests in other things and I didn’t want to only study one field.”

Kinkhabwala pursued his longtime musical interests – he began playing the piano in the first grade and can also play double bass, guitar and sing – and ultimately declared as a music concentrator with an emphasis in composition.

For his senior project, Kinkhabwala is writing a string sextet, an ambitious endeavor.

“It’s influenced by Schoenberg, specifically ‘Verklacht Nacht,'” Kinkhabwala said. “Honestly, my goal for this piece is to have a product that I’m proud of and am able to eventually hear live. It’s pretty similar in style to my string quartet, which ended up being played by the Dover String Quartet and winning the Lorey Music Prize.”

Though Kinkhabwala also cites Chopin and Ravel as influences for his piano pieces, he can do more than just classical music; he also has played in bands and experimented with pop and rock.

“I have about 10 songs written and five recorded,” Kinkhabwala said. “I love ragtime music so a lot of my pop/rock songs have a rag-feel to them.”

Much as Kinkhabwala arrived at Colgate as a scientist and ended up being a music concentrator, he encouraged other student musicians to take advantage of all the school has to offer.

“The arts at Colgate often go under the radar and a lot of talent can go unnoticed by most of the student body,” Kinkhabwala said. “Even though there aren’t too many music majors, the faculty and facilities available to them are excellent. We have so many musicians here at Colgate and I just wish more of them took some of the music courses here because they can improve on the musicianship and knowledge behind what they are doing or trying to do.” 

Contact Alanna Weissman at

[email protected]