Key to change
Meet the Musicians
QUINTON MORRIS DMA, VIOLIN
Dr. Quinton Morris enjoys a multifaceted career as concert violinist, educator, entrepreneur and filmmaker. He is the founder of Key to Change, a nonprofit with the mission of inspiring underserved youth and students of color through world-class music instruction and supporting their development as self-aware leaders. Key to Change operates two violin and viola studios in South King County, Washington which serve middle and high school students who may not otherwise have access to classical music instruction.
Key to Change was born out of Dr. Morris’s BREAKTHROUGH World Tour, which paired recitals and concerto performances with lectures, master classes and educational outreach in over 25 cities across five continents. The tour also featured Dr. Morris’s short film The BREAKTHROUGH, which premiered at the Seattle Art Museum and the Louvre Museum in Paris, among other distinguished venues worldwide. He directed and starred in the film, which tells a modernized story of the Chevalier de Saint-Georges: a violinist of African origin who, against all odds, rose to become one of the most prolific and forgotten figures of the 18th century.
Dr. Morris received top prize at the European Independent Film Awards, and was recognized as one of Musical America’s Top 30 Movers & Shapers and the Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40 Under 40. Additional career highlights include concerto appearances with the Seattle Symphony, three consecutive years of sold-out recitals at Carnegie Hall, eleven years as Artistic Director of The Young Eight String Octet and a TEDxSeattle talk on “The Age of the Artist Entrepreneur.”
Dr. Morris is a Seattle native and earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin. He joined the Seattle University faculty in 2007 as Director of Chamber and Instrumental Music and Associate Professor of Violin and Chamber Music. He is the first tenured music professor at Seattle University in over 35 years and the second living African-American violinist in United States history to receive such a distinction.
Daniel Ching, VIOLIN
Daniel Ching, a founding member of the Miró Quartet, began his violin studies at the age of 3 under tutelage of his father. At age 5, he entered the San Francisco Conservatory Preparatory Division on a full twelve‐year scholarship, where he studied violin with Serban Rusu and Zaven Melikian, and chamber music with Susan Bates. At the age of 10, Daniel was first introduced to string quartets.A graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Daniel studied violin with Kathleen Winkler, Roland and Almita Vamos, and conducting with Robert Spano and Peter Jaffe. He completed his Masters degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with former Cleveland Quartet violinist Donald Weilerstein. He also studied recording engineering and production with Thomas Knab of Telarc, and subsequently engineered the Miró Quartet’s first promotional disc. Daniel is on faculty at the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin, where he teaches private violin students and coaches chamber music. He concurrently maintains an active international touring schedule as a member of the Miró Quartet.
Daniel is a discerning connoisseur of all things cinematic and electronic. Before he became a busy parent, Daniel was an avid skier and a dedicated reader of science fiction—he looks forward to returning to those passions, some day. In his free time, Daniel enjoys hosting happy hours with friends and lounging at home with his wife Sandy, their two sons, and two cats.
Sandy Yamamoto, VIOLIN
Recipient of the 2016 Butler School of Music Teaching Excellence Award Violinist Sandy Yamamoto has dazzled audiences in concert performances around the globe for the past three decades as a soloist and as a member of the Miró Quartet.
Ms. Yamamoto began her violin studies at the age of 4. At 11, she made her solo debut with the North Carolina Symphony and has since appeared with orchestras throughout the US and Europe to critical acclaim.
Since leaving the Quartet in May 2011, she has been appointed Associate Professor of Practice (Violin) at the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin. She also founded the Butler Trio with Miró Quartet cellist, Joshua Gindele and pianist, Colette Valentine. She has since been enjoying a versatile performing career, playing concertos and recitals as well as leading noted chamber orchestras throughout the United States.
When she is not busy teaching and performing, Ms. Yamamoto enjoys spending time with her husband, Daniel, her two sons, Adrian and Brian, and her cat, Poko.
Joseph Williams, Piano
Pianist and educator Joseph Williams was born and raised in Tacoma, WA. He is a passionate advocate for accessible, high-quality music education in South King County. He is founder and director of Tukwila Kids Make Music, a free after-school music instruction program offering piano, guitar, and violin lessons to 50 children every week, year-round. He also serves on the Community Music faculty of the University of Puget Sound, where he instructs children and adults of varying levels and musical genres.
He began playing piano at 10 years old. By age 17, he was awarded 1st place in Washington state for solo piano in the 2010 WIAA/WMEA State Solo and Ensemble Contest. He subsequently pursued a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music in Ohio. Upon graduation, he received the Piano Faculty Prize in Accompanying and was hired on the faculty as a full-time Instrumental Collaborative Pianist for the 2015-2016 academic year.
Mr. Williams earned a Master of Music in Piano Performance from Cleveland State University and launched Music From Home, a concert series at Lakewold Gardens which celebrates the live musical expression of women and people of color. He has enjoyed performing at numerous venues across the United States, including The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and abroad in Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.