Teacher / Conductor


Chris has taught classroom music in Australia (Prep-Yr 12), New Zealand (Yr 9-13), the USA (Grades K-6) and Samoa (Yr 6-11). He has also taught lessons in piano, voice, trumpet and choral conducting, as well as classroom drama and some dance.

Learn more about his Key Tasks & Experience below.

Belle a Cappella performs Zigeunerleben, June 2011

Chris conducts the NZSSC in Teatro Roma, Buenos Aires

Chris currently teaches Music and Religious Education at St. Monica’s College, Cairns, Queensland, where he also conducts HarMonica, the 16 voice choir. He co-conducts the Cairns Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir with Lyn Williams and has co-conducted Gondwana Singers at the Gondwana National Choral School in Sydney since January 2014.

Before a brief stint teaching Music at Edge Hill State School he was HOD Music & Performing Arts at Waimea College for 10 years from 2002. He taught Year 9-13 Music and conducted Belle a Cappella, the college’s national award-winning chamber choir. He has conducted the concert orchestra, was musical director for the school production “Jesus Christ Superstar”, and established the school’s first Theatre Sports team.

Chris has conducted choirs of all ages– from the 90-strong Year 6 Choir at Kingston Elementary School (Plymouth, U.S.A., 1997-98) to Opera North (Whangarei, 2001–guest conductor) to Polyhymnos Chamber Choir at the Nelson School of Music (2002-05).

He was Associate Conductor of the New Zealand Secondary Students Choir 2007-08.
 

Chris continues to make himself available to choirs for workshops. He created three custom arrangements for Femme of Southland Girls High School, travelling to Invercargill to workshop the pieces. Femme was invited to perform his works at the Big Sing National Finale choral competition in Wellington in 2008 and Auckland in 2010.

For most of his time at Waimea College, Chris was also Head of Sheppard House— winners of House Song 2006 and the House Shield 2009.

 

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KEY TASKS & EXPERIENCE

Music & Religious Education Teacher, St. Monica’s College

  • Classroom music teaching for all Year 8 students and Year 9, 10 and 11 option Music classes at respected, private all-girls school (approx. 550 students)
  • Religious Education and Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) teaching for all Year 9s (2013) and Year 10s (2013 – present)
  • Conductor, HarMonica (formerly 16 Voice Choir), winning 1st place in all Eisteddfod categories attempted (2013-2014)
  • Assistant Conductor, Saints Concert Band (2013), consistenting of students from both St. Monica’s and St. Augustine’s Colleges
  • Assistant Musical Director, “Downtown: The Mod Musical” (June 2014)
  • Sacred Song: led the entire cohort of Year 9 and Year 10 in preparation for Catholic Education Week event (2013 – present)

 
 
Music Teacher/ Head of Department, Edge Hill State School

  • Classroom music teaching for all 1000+ students (30 min each week x 40 classes)
  • Conduct Junior and Senior Choirs—each consisting of over 50 students; Senior Choir won the school’s first 1st placing at Eisteddfods 2012 and Junior Choir Highly Commended
  • Oversee Instrumental Music programme including supervision of four additional teaching staff and five ensembles (two concert bands, two string ensembles and percussion ensemble)
  • Lunchtime clubs/ extra help for keyboard, guitar and recorder
  • Performances and concerts for the school community including school fete, parades and Big Family Breakfast; performances for the wider community including Eisteddfods, Fanfare and other concerts
  • Recording and mastering all school ensembles (which had not been done before)

 

 

Co- Conductor of Gondwana Singers, Gondwana National Choral School (2014- present)

  • Choose appropriate repertoire and co-conduct intensive rehearsals for choir of about 60 singers (SATB) from across Australia over two weeks at Macquarie University, Sydney, culminating in a performance at The Concourse, Chatswood

 

Co- Conductor of Cairns Gondwana Indigenous Childrens’ Choir (2013- present)

  • Share with founder Lyn Williams the role of conducting regular rehearsals (alternating weeks) and performances
  • Establish a changed-voice male choir for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous young men in Cairns, under the Gondwana Choirs umbrella
  • Conduct rehearsals and performances in place of conductor Lyn Williams
  • Theory lessons in place of Lyn or other staff who are away
  • As a consultant to Gondwana National Choirs, conduct weekend workshops (eg. Northern Territories Regional Workshop, Darwin, Nov-Dec 2012)

 

 

 Head of Music & Performing Arts Department, Waimea College

  • Overall responsibility for music, drama and dance activities at the largest secondary school in the area (approximately 1500 students)
  • Developed the Performing Arts Department from one classroom teacher to four teaching staff, full-time Arts Coordinator, up to 12 itinerant music tutors and a full range of Music, Drama and Dance classes from Years 9-13 in 2011
  • Taught curricular Music classes for Years 9-13 and Performing Arts (Drama/ Dance) Years 9 and 11
  • Conducted the concert orchestra, formed and conducted the school’s two vocal ensembles (Camerata and Belle a Cappella) and managed all music ensembles
  • Led Belle a Cappella choir to perform at The Big Sing National Finale in winning Silver, Bronze and Youth Ambassador awards
  • Oversaw renovations to the Performing Arts Department which added a digital recording studio, a sound-proofed recording room and a computer suite
  • Supported and encouraged all styles of music within the department, with a focus on excellence in performance and music literacy
  • Led student groups on a number of New Zealand and international music tours including Samoa (2004) and the Bonyi Youth Music Festival, Brisbane (2007) /li>
  • Musical director for school production of “Jesus Christ Superstar”
  • Head of Creative Faculty, representing staff in the Performing & Visual Arts, Design and Materials Technology Departments
  • Trained and supported student conductors of Camerata choir and oversaw Performing Arts Captains, House Captains and leaders within ensembles
  • Head of Sheppard House, one of the four school houses
  • Served on the Curriculum, Professional Development and ICT Committees as Creatives Faculty respresentative

 

 

Associate Conductor of the New Zealand Secondary Students’ Choir

  • Shared responsibility with the music team for selecting repertoire, planning rehearsal camps and tours, and directing 55 students from throughout the country
  • Conducted and accompanied the choir at concerts
  • Recorded rehearsals and performances using Protools
  • Shared the pastoral care of 55 students on camps and tours
  • Toured throughout New Zealand and to Brazil and Argentina for the Melodia! Youth Music Festival
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Music Teacher . Choral Conductor . Bass Voice Soloist . Choral Arranger

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