I grew up in West Cornwall and, from an early age, was lucky enough to be involved in many diverse musical activities which has influenced my eclectic taste in music over the years and informed my own writing. You’d be equally as likely to catch me listening to Sondheim as Stravinsky, Arvo Pärt or the Pixies.

I am primarily a freelance composer and arranger but also work as a session musician and accompanist, teacher and consultant, working with theatre companies, performing arts groups, media companies and schools in a wide range of styles. I find that the varied work I undertake as a musician and composer positively influences all aspects of my musical life and teaching.

Being awkward, and unable to find the undergraduate degree I wanted, I managed to put my own BA (Hons) degree together, validated by the Open University. I studied composition and orchestration with composers Patric Standford (OCA) and Robin Hoffman (Thinkspace), musicology with Drs Boyer and Corfield (OU) and music theory, criticism and literature (Trinity). As a postgraduate I studied with, amongst others, Dr Mick Wilson and Prof Alan Williams at the University of Salford for my Masters in Music specialising in composition. Due to my experiences, I am a passionate advocate for distance learning and am currently arranging PhD study researching issues affecting distance learning composition in higher education.

I have been fortunate that, even in the early stages of my career, my works have been performed many times in countries across every continent in the world apart from Antarctica (so far!) and I continue to write commissions for diverse ensembles from Saxophone Ensembles to Concert Bands. I provide general freelance composition and arrangement support for Trinity College London and was recently commissioned to write a large amount of new pieces for their exciting new educational Music Tracks syllabus.

My music is available via Masquerade Music, JW Pepper, Amazon, Sheet Music Plus, Moonhouse Music and via my own publishing company Happy Bubble Music as well as in Trinity College publications.

I have been involved with Open College of the Arts now since 2009, first as a student and subject representative, then as music animateur/student support and now I am delighted to continue working with the college as a tutor, helping students develop through open learning regardless of style, aspiration or location.

Chris Lawry profile image
“As a composer and arranger I specialise in concert, choral and educational music, taking inspiration from musical theatre, film and classical genres.”

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