Chris was born and raised in Yorkshire, and started learning the piano at the age of eight. It was also at this time that he first appeared on stage in a local amateur production of 'South Pacific' at York Theatre Royal, which turned out to be the beginning of an extended period of onstage appearances in both plays and musicals with several local groups.
As his classical piano training progressed, Chris began to discover and teach himself how to play and improvise jazz, a musical style which has remained close to his heart. Despite being fond of performing as an actor, he was always curious as to what life would be like playing below the boards.
At the age of fourteen, he was offered the chance to play piano for a secondary school production of 'Blood Brothers', which was to be the start of Chris's time as a pit musician. The following summer, he was asked to play keyboards for 'Little Shop of Horrors' at the Grand Opera House in York, and at the age of sixteen he piano-conducted 'Return to the Forbidden Planet' as his final school production.
From this point on, Chris turned his focus to music and began to leave his time as an onstage performer behind (despite making the occasional appearance!). He taught himself to play bass guitar and drums whilst increasing his participation in local theatrical productions as a musician. Despite this greater involvement in music, his fondness of mathematics at school led him to study the subject at Durham University for four years, culminating in a Master of Mathematics degree.
During Chris's time at university, he found himself making music more often than proving theorems! He played both keyboards and bass guitar in the orchestra pit for over twenty different musical theatre productions, acting on several occasions as musical director or piano-conductor. Chris also played piano for the award winning Durham University Big Band, bass guitar for the ska band 'Skasky and Hutch', and formed a big band known as 'The Project' for which he wrote his own arrangements of rap and R&B songs.
Alongside these, in 2011 with two fellow students he co-founded Tone Deaf, a theatre company dedicated to bringing more contemporary musicals with smaller casts to the Durham student theatre scene. The company, which is still active after Chris's departure from university, has created several critically acclaimed productions, including their debut production of 'EDGES: A New Musical' by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul which won both Best Music and Best Production at the Sheffield Drama Festival where Tone Deaf were invited to perform. That year, he was also musical director and piano-conductor on the MTM award nominated sell-out production of 'The Hot Mikado' at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
In January 2013, Chris was accepted to study Musical Direction and Coaching at the Royal Academy of Music from September of that year, under the guidance of renowned musical directors such as Mark Warman, David White, Björn Dobbelaere, and Andrew Friesner, as well as respected coaching and singing teachers such as Ross Campbell, Sam Kenyon, and Maureen Scott. During his time at the Academy, he studied piano and vocal technique, conducting, orchestration, arranging, synthesiser programming, and music preparation. Chris also acted as both musical director and assistant on several productions throughout the course, and was awarded the Norma Simpson Prize by the Academy for a combination of good work, conduct, and general achievement throughout the academic year.
He is now based in London and is thrilled to be pursuing a career as a musician in musical theatre.