As a performer, composer, arranger, and founder of publishing company C. Sharpe Editions, bass trombonist Christopher (Chris) Sharpe shares with audiences a wide variety of musical styles. His solo repertoire encompasses several centuries of music, ranging from Telemann and Bach to Kazik and Raum, and his composing, arranging, and publishing has expanded the diversity of literature for trombonists.
Chris has been a trombonist since the age of 11, when he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his older brother and perform with the University of Tennessee Trombone Choir. He achieved this goal when studying trombone at UT, and has continued to seek new challenges throughout his career. Performance highlights include orchestral concert series with the Colorado MahlerFest Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Opera, and Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, as well as three years with the GRAMMY-nominated One O'Clock Lab Band, and performances with solo artists such as Bobby McFerrin, Doc Severinsen, Wycliffe Gordon, and James Morrison. Chris can also be heard on recordings with the One O'Clock Lab Band, the Keith Karns Big Band, Natalie Mannix, and the Toshi Clinch Big Band.
Teaching the next generations of trombonists to find their own voice is another of Chris's passions. As a trombone professor at the University of Central Arkansas and Hendrix College, Chris gives private lessons to graduate and undergraduate students with diverse backgrounds and career goals. His students from both the University of Central Arkansas and the University of North Texas have gone on to receive collegiate teaching assistantships, make the finals of the US Army Blues bass trombone position, and become featured performers in ensembles such as the One O'Clock Lab Band, UNT's Latin Jazz Lab Band, and DCI's Blue Devils and Cadets. He previously taught trombone lessons at Timber Creek High School, Trinity Springs Middle School, and Trinity Meadows Intermediate School in Keller, TX.
Seeing a need for new, interesting literature for trombone ensembles of all kinds, Chris began composing and arranging during his undergraduate studies, and his works have been performed by professional and collegiate soloists and trombone ensembles across the world. His arrangement of Eric Ewazen’s A Hymn for the Lost and the Living for 12 trombones was published by Southern Music Company and is available for purchase through Hal Leonard Music. Chris's first composition, Apogee Fanfare, was premiered at the Texas Music Educators Association and many of his works have been performed at conferences such as the International Trombone Festival, the American Trombone Workshop, and the Lätzsch Trombone Festival. He also founded publishing company C. Sharpe Editions, specializing in the sale of sheet music PDFs of original works for trombone.
Chris holds degrees from the University of North Texas (DMA and MM in Trombone Performance) and the University of Tennessee (BM Trombone Performance and Music Education). His primary teachers include Jeremy Wilson, Daniel Cloutier, Jan and Vern Kagarice, Darren McHenry, and Tony Baker.
Chris is a native of Oak Ridge, TN, and currently resides in Conway, AR with his wife, Claire.