Del Morin loves to sing and thankfully shares his talent with many. He has participated in the ACM Menifee Showcase for the past three years and Menifee’s Got Talent. His efforts have earned him the distinction of being recognized as March’s Artist of the Month by Arts Council Menifee.
“It’s really neat to see someone doing what they love, the passion just comes pouring out,” said Arts Council Menifee President Christopher Carnes. “That’s what makes our Artist of the Month, Del Morin, so special. Del has been singing to guests at the MaryChrisMess house for several years now and he’s always well received and appreciated. A great passion, along with ample talent and personality, makes Del a unique and vital part of our city.”
Morin said he loves supporting the arts and participating in community events.
“Menifee has many talented individuals with many different skills that add to the ‘spice of life’ in this ever-blossoming city,” he said.
Morin was born in Michigan and lived there until he was 15 years old, when his family relocated to Joshua Tree. He has been a resident of Menifee for more than five years. He and his wife of 26 years, Jeannette Morin, have eight children, ages 5 to 25.
By day, he is a retail clerk, employed by Stater Bros. markets for nearly 34 years. In his spare time, he loves to sing and entertain. After his retirement in two years, he plans to pursue his music full time.
Morin didn’t have any formal singing lessons but had a passion for music and made listening to some of the great singers such as Tommy Edwards, Andy Williams and Johnny Mathis a favorite pastime. That is what led him to become a crooner himself.
“I believe that I inspired myself and taught myself to sing at the age of 10 after the loss of my father,” said Morin, 51. “I vividly recall sitting under my dad’s record table listening to his old records repeatedly and singing along imitating intonations of various singing artists.”
He said singing gave him comfort and a sense of closeness to his late father.
“I spent more time singing than anything else,” he said. “It brought me happiness and an escape from the real world, if just for that moment.”
As a youngster he participated in many singing events at school, including Christmas productions. He was a member of choir in seventh grade and took part in Joshua Tree Playhouse Guild plays and chorale during his high school years.
“I also loved to go caroling in our neighborhood every Christmas season with my siblings and school friends,” he said.
Morin has sung with bands as well as performing as a solo artist. He was a member of three local singing groups in the high desert of Yucca Valley: the Tumbleweeds, the Del-Rantes and the AnnDels. Currently, Morin has a regular gig in Palm Springs with his friend Pete Astorino, a Jimmy Durante tribute artist. They perform for the Sons of Italy at a venue once owned by Frank Sinatra. His solo act is called “Sounds of Del.”
Morin's family is very supportive of his musical career and attend many of his performances. His wish is to continue his love of music forever – touching people’s lives through song. He sings for weddings, nonprofit organizations, private parties, church functions and other special events. Often his oldest son, Johnny, performs with him as a duo.
“He has been on stage with me since the young age of three,” Morin said.
It seems likely that Morin’s musical influence and talent rubbed off on his two oldest sons, who are professional musicians. Johnny Morin is a pianist/electronic artist, singer and composer specializing in 'jazz fusion' and Morin’s 18-year-old son, Stephen, is a guitarist specializing in jazz and nu-metal.
His son Michael is a student at Menifee Valley Middle School and likes to sing and participate in many choir events. His younger children are beginning to express an interest in the arts and Del Morin is a proud father indeed.
“I often tell my children to just keep singing,” he said. “First and foremost, I mean it metaphorically, as I am implying to my children to keep a good outlook in life and never give up. Think positive, follow your dreams and as my wife always says: ‘Reach for that star!’”
If he could sing only one song for the rest of his career, Morin would choose Andy Williams’ rendition of “It’s Impossible.”
“I love the true meaning which seems so everlasting. It is always a song that I feel draws the audience into a heartfelt moment of life experiences or a cherished memory of something they hold dear,” he said.
He recalled singing “It's Impossible" at a retirement home in Banning and there was a particular lady that caught his attention. The woman’s daughter approached him in tears to express gratitude for singing that song.
“She explained to me that her elderly mother had progressive Alzheimer’s disease and when I sang that song, her mother smiled for the first time in many years. The daughter couldn’t believe the happiness that she saw on her mother’s face. She said it made her day and was a true miracle. This is that ‘heartfelt moment’ that I was talking about,” Morin said. “I just felt that I had touched this woman’s life through a song.”