Nov 07, 2021
2 mins read
Episode 12 of the Composer Happy Hour features a conversation with Christopher Harris. We didn't plan it this way, but I actually met Chris the same night I met our last guest - Matthew Lyon Hazzard. This was one of those reminders that the world of choral music, while expansive, is also very small and connected. It really is a world that is all about connections and relationships, and Chris is the kind of person that you meet and immediately feel comfortable talking to. He is joyful about his music making and comes across as very authentic in that enthusiasm. In this episode we discuss the NBA, which comedy albums to listen to at the gym, and the one fast food restaurant nobody should live without.
Dr. Christopher H. Harris, native of Fort Worth, Texas, is a music educator, conductor, performer, and choral composer. In August 2017, Harris joined the faculty at Arkansas Tech University as the Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music. He conducts the ATU Choral Artists, University Singers, and University Men’s and Women’s Choruses, and teaches courses in Choral Methods, Special Methods in Music, Choral Conducting, and Choral Arranging. He received his PhD in Choral Music Education from Florida State University, his Master’s in Choral Conducting from Ithaca College, and his Bachelor’s in Music Education from Texas Southern University. Prior to entering graduate school, Harris enjoyed several years of successful public school teaching in Houston, Texas.
Dr. Harris is quite active as a clinician, adjudicator, and presenter, having presented numerous sessions at state conventions including Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Hawaii, Georgia, and at the 2020 Southwest American Choral Directors Association Conference. His compositions have been performed internationally by mixed, tenor/bass, and treble choirs of varied ages and abilities. Most recently Harris was honored through the selection of his music for performance by the 2018 Texas All-State Mixed Choir, the 2018 Southwest American Choral Directors Association Men’s Honor Choir, the 2018 Arkansas Intercollegiate Choir, and the 2019 Arkansas All-State Mixed Choir and New York All-State Mixed Choir.
ATU Choirs under the direction of Christopher Harris have received high honors and recognition. The ATU Choral Artists performed with Arkansas Baroque Music, Inc. in October 2019, as an invited choir at the National Collegiate Choral Organization Conference in November 2019, as the invited collegiate honor choir at the Arkansas All-State Music Conference in February 2020, and as a demonstration choir at the Southwest American Choral Directors Association Conference in March 2020, and will perform as an invited choir at the Southwest American Choral Directors Association Conference in February 2022. They have also been selected to premiere the 2022 Raymond W. Brock Commission. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University Singers debut performance at Carnegie Hall has been postponed from May 2020 to sometime during 2022 and 2024, tentatively.
All Recordings Used by Permission of the Composer:
"So Wondrous Sweet and Fair"
"I Would Live In Your Love"
Arkansas Tech University Men's Chorus
"My Way Home"
This episode is sponsored by Four Fires Meadery.