Born: 17 December 1956
Christopher started his musical life aged 10 as a chorister in the Choir of All Saints Church, Edmonton, North London with Peter Smith as his choirmaster (Organ Scholar, Durham Cathedral). Along with several other boys Chris had piano and organ lessons from Peter. Chris later received private tuition in singing at Trinity College of Music with Gwendoline Hanson. He then studied privately with Edgar Evans at the Royal College of Music.
At the age of 18, Christopher was invited to join the Fayrefax Consort, St. Albans by its Director, David Ireson. He took part in many concerts at St. Albans Cathedral and recording projects, including Bach's Magnificat and a programme of Sacred and Secular part songs. He deputised regularly as a tenor lay clerk at St Albans. Christopher’s anthem ‘The Gate of the Year’ was performed at St. Albans Cathedral at midnight at the Millennium.
During his time at the Latymer School, Edmonton, its Madrigal Group, under the direction of Michael Brewer, won the radio competition "Let the Peoples Sing" schools class and subsequently recorded at the BBC for various broadcasts. The group then toured the USA mid-west and Canada, featuring Chris’s 8 piece recorder consort and some of his own compositions. After finishing at the Latymer School, some of the former members of the Madrigal Group reformed as the "Gregorian Singers" and later as "Polyphony". They also performed as a male close-harmony group called "Liberty Beaux" which covered barber-shop to Beach Boys material and had success locally. Chris and his wife, Sue, were both founder members of the National Youth Choir, Directed by Michael Brewer, in the early 80’s.
Christopher has continued to work with former members of the Madrigal Group and long standing associates throughout his career, including Michael Berman, who founded "Vox Musica", a chamber choir of which Chris and his wife were members. Michael Berman created the "Southbank Sinfonia", a chamber orchestra in London which offers recent graduates of the UK's top conservatoires valuable performance experience, and with whom Vox Musica have frequently performed alongside. He has also worked with Michael Berman as a member of "Amici", a small chamber choir, with whom he has taken part in recordings, notably Haydn's ‘Little Organ Mass’.
As a conductor, Christopher has also directed Amici and Polyphony, as well as the music at All Saints, Edmonton as organist and choirmaster, and for 18 years, Christ Church, Southgate, North London. Christopher was responsible for building the choir at Christ Church to a standard high enough to see them perform live on the BBC in 1996 on the Sunday after Ascension, performing a Mozart Mass complete with soloists from the choir. The choir at Christ Church also recorded twice with Lance Andrews (Lammas Records). Christopher was also musical director of the 70-strong Groveland Singers before he and his family moved to Derbyshire in 2002, where he was invited to play organ and co-direct music at St. Oswald's, Ashbourne. He was Organist and Choirmaster at St. Giles, Cheadle in Staffordshire from 2011 to 2018. He was Musical Director of ‘Beatus Chamber Choir in Yoxall, Staffordshire from 2011 to 2017. He is now Organist at All Saint's Parish Church, Bakewell, Derbyshire.
Many of Christopher's compositions have been performed in concert, notably atthe Budapest Library by Daniel Bali and the Hungarian consort 'The By Heart Singers' and recorded on CD. He has also received commissions for compositions and arrangements.
See also: Chris Dell's editor page.
List of choral works
Click here to search for this composer on CPDL