Christopher has been described as ‘one of his generation’s most exciting compositional voices for brass’, having written for an array of soloists in addition to many of the UK’s leading brass bands. In 2015, he was appointed Composer in Residence to the world-famous Cory Band, with further commissions including Brighouse & Rastrick, Leyland, and Grimethorpe Bands, and performances by Fine Arts Brass, Black Dyke Band & the Welsh Sinfonia.
A first-class graduate of the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, Christopher’s work has been performed extensively throughout the United Kingdom, including at Wales Millennium Centre, Durham International Festival of Brass, RNCM Festival of Brass, Regent Hall London, St John’s Smith Square, as well as at the BBC Welsh Proms at St David’s Hall, Cardiff. At ‘Brass in Concert’ at The Sage, Gateshead, in 2015, Christopher won the Composition Prize for his Aristotle’s Air. His work has been broadcast both locally and nationally on BBC Radio 2 and Classic FM.
More recently, Christopher’s music has had a number of international performances including in Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Japan, Canada, the USA, and across Europe. In 2017, Aristotle’s Air was part of the own-choice programme for both Brassband Willebroek and the National Band of New Zealand at the World Music Contest in Kerkrade, The Netherlands, with both bands taking the 1st and 2nd placings consecutively.
In 2012, Christopher’s award-winning Euphonium Quartet Equinox graced the main stage of the Bruknerhaus Concert Hall, Linz, Austria as part of a gala concert to conclude the 2012 International Tuba Euphonium Conference. In the same year, The Royal Diamond Jubilee Fanfare was commissioned and performed in the presence of HM Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh as part of the Diamond Jubilee Tour.
More recently, Christopher wrote the soundtrack for Magic in the Skies; the summer season of firework displays at iconic British location, Land’s End in Cornwall, for which Christopher worked with actress Miriam Margolyes to record the voice-over before conducting the orchestra in the recording of the music.
As well as his work as a composer, Christopher works heavily in education, co-directing his company,Create! Music Education, which runs Tongwynlais Music Academy, and delivers music workshops across South Wales. Christopher has previously taught at both the Junior Department at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, and Forte School of Music. He now works as a teacher and accompanist at St John’s on-the-hill preparatory school in Chepstow.
As a conductor, Christopher was Resident Conductor of Tongwynlais Temperance Band between 2014-2017, having worked with the band on four successive top-3 placings at the Welsh Open, four consecutive qualifications to the National Finals at the Royal Albert Hall, his successful debut CD Opening Note, and numerous concerts across England & Wales. Christopher is the current conductor of Cardiff’s Young Persons Training Orchestra, and musical director of Billboard Juniors Theatre Group, as well as playing regularly for local amateur productions.
Since 2015, Christopher has been Composer in Residence to the world-famous Cory Band, working with the band on new music, solos, arrangements and outreach projects, and performances of his work by the band played on BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3 & Classic FM.
In 2015, the band commissioned 'Aristotle's Air' as part of their prize-winning Brass in Concert performance, with the piece itself winning the Cyril Beere Memorial Trophy for the Best New Composition or Arrangement. Solo projects have included 'Song of the Night Sky' and 'Showcase', featured on Tom Hutchinson's debut album, In Principal, 'Over the Horizon' for Steve Stewart, and 'A New Dawn' for Owen Farr, both featured on their albums of the same names.
Cory Band have given debuts of all of Christopher's test-pieces, premiering 'Corineus' at the 2018 Festival of Brass at the Royal Northern College of Music, 'The Lost Village of Imber' at the 2020 Festival of Brass, and providing the debut recording of 'Neverland' for the 2020 UK Regional Championships album.
The Cory Band made history in 2016 by winning an elusive Grand Slam and becoming the first band in history to be Quadruple Champions - simultaneously holding the National, Open, European and Brass in Concert titles. This cemented a remarkable ten consecutive years at the top of the World Rankings. However, the band has a long and illustrious history. Formed in 1884, it originally bore the name 'Ton Temperance'. In 1895 Sir Clifford Cory, the local colliery owner, heard the band and offered to provide financial assistance, resulting in the band's change of name to Cory.
In 1980, the band became European Champion and in 1984, its centenary year, it won the third in a hat-trick of National titles at the Royal Albert Hall, London, conducted by the charismatic Major Arthur Kenney. In 2000 the band achieved a historic double by winning both the Nationals and, for the first time in its history, the British Open, conducted by Dr. Robert Childs. In 2008-10 the band achieved a hat-trick of European titles.
Since 2012, the band has been conducted by Philip Harper, winning another three European titles (2013, 2016, 2019), four Nationals (2013, 2015, 2016 & 2019), five Brass in Concert titles (2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019) and three British Open (2016, 2018, 2019). In 2014, it became the inaugural winner of TV Channel S4C's Band Cymru programme and repeated this achievement in 2018. It toured Australia in 2013, and the USA in 2016; 40 years after its last visit.
The Cory Band has also developed musically outside of the contest field. In 2001, together with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, it was appointed as resident ensemble to the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, and in the same year appointed Dr. John Pickard as its Composer in Residence. John Pickard's tenure with the band ended in 2005 when the band made history giving the premiere performance of his Gaia Symphony at the prestigious Cheltenham International Festival. The Symphony was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, and lasting over an hour in duration, is currently the largest scale original work in the repertory.
The Cory Band is recognised as one of the Principality's finest and most innovative music ensembles. Its numerous CD recordings and live concert performances have received worldwide acclaim.