Chris was born in Kent in 1953, but as a boy lived mainly in Surrey. He was educated at Woking Grammar School for Boys, and at the same time travelled up to London every Saturday as a junior at Trinity College of Music. The training in musicianship he received there laid a solid foundation for a career in music. He followed that up with 3 years in the Music Dept. of Reading University, specialising in composition, graduating with a B.A. in 1974.
He went straight into a job in the production department of Chester Music, working with Paul Tortelier (How I Play, How I Teach), Philip Jones (Just Brass series), John Tavener, and Carol Barratt (Chester the Frog piano books) among many others.
Whilst at Chester he developed a keen interest in the various processes involved in preparing music for printing, and after 2 years left the company to work as a freelance music originator, using the NotaSet method and freehand work.
During a 45 year career in music publishing he has been privileged to work with most major British composers, and has produced numerous publications for Chester, Schott, Faber Music, OUP and many other publishing houses worldwide.
The development of computer music setting in the 1980’s revolutionised the music production industry, and he was lucky enough to have had a little input into the Sibelius system in its earliest days. Nowadays, he takes on more editorial responsibility for the pieces he works on, and his two main composers are Iain Bell (Chester) and Gavin Bryars (Schott), often working with the editor Rose Moore.
Alongside his publishing career, Chris has enjoyed many years as a ‘community musician’ in his home town of Horncastle, Lincolnshire. He has been organist at the parish church of St Mary since 1987, accompanist for various choirs and music groups around the town, and a sort of ‘accompanist in residence’ at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School. He also has a keen interest in local theatre, working with the Horncastle Theatre Company at their own Lion Theatre in the back yard of the Red Lion pub. He has been MD for many musicals and pantos, and also enjoys acting when he gets the opportunity.
He has also been known to work as a composer and arranger, but prefers to leave that to the professionals these days. The pinnacle of this rather brief career was probably an appearance on Songs of Praise, fronting his hymn Praise to God in the highest’.
He is married to singer Gail, and between them they have 6 children and 6 grandchildren. He is lucky enough to live in the Old Rectory, Moorby, just south of Horncastle, and 14 miles north of the large town of Boston.
As well as his work as church musician and accompanist, Chris is also involved in making music in the community of Horncastle. In particular, as accompanist to Horncastle Choral Society
and resident musician at Horncastle Theatre Company (at the Lion Theatre, behind the Red Lion pub) where he has also been known to act a little (although it’s sometimes hard to shake off the ecclesiastical connections.)
In fact, Chris has worked his fingers to the bone providing music for the town.