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Christopher Cherney
chris@chrischerneymusic.com
917 734 2232

Christopher Cherney is a pianist, composer, conductor, and educator who explores the interactions between jazz, pop, and classical music.  He has written for film, video, dance, and theater, and received an Opera and Musical Theater Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He had the good fortune to grow up with a father who loved jazz and a mother who loved classical music.


EDUCATION
1989: Master of Arts in Piano Performance.  City College of New York
1977: Bachelor of Music in Theory. Manhattan School of Music
          Conducting with Maestro Anton Coppola and George Manahan


PRIVATE STUDIES
Classical Piano with Sophia Rosoff, John Kamitsuka and Edith Oppens
    Jazz Piano with Sir Roland Hanna, Jaki Byard and Valerie Capers
Composition and Improvisation with John Carisi, David Friedman, Stan Persky,
            Elias Tannenbaum and Ludmilla Uhlela


TEACHING
1972- present: Private teaching.  Piano, sight singing, composition, improvisation
1995- 2005:  Adjunct Professor of Music, City College on New York
1983-1991:  Senior faculty member, New York School of Commercial Music,
Chairman of sight singing program
1985-87: Director of Music program at P.S. 183, Manhattan
1981-83:  Piano faculty, Brooklyn Conservatory
1980-82: Piano faculty, Guitar Study Center
1979-81: Piano Faculty and Choral Director, Boy's Harbor Music Program


MUSICAL DIRECTION & CONDUCTING
2004: Conductor, Hair, City College of New York
2003: Conductor and Orchestrator, West Side Story, City College of New York
2002: Conductor, The Apple Tree, City College of New York
2001: Conductor, Little Shop of Horrors, City College of New York
1985- present: Musical Director/Conductor of The Ellington Project dedicated to the vocal music of Ellington and Strayhorn
1988- present: Musical Director/Conductor of A Drum is a Woman.  Performances at the Beacon     Theater, Severance Hall, and Symphony Space
1999-2005Musical Director/Conductor for the Theater Department of the City College of New York
1999- Conductor of My People, Strayhorn and Ellington's celebration of the Centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, at Severance Hall, Cleveland
1985-1998: Musical Director and Conductor for Theater for the New City
1979-1983: Musical Director and Conductor for Captain Boogie and the Kids From Mars, an award winning Children's Musical.
1977-1978: Musical Director and performer for The Drifters, The Shirelles,
BoDiddley, Chuck Berry, The Marvelettes and others.

PERFORMANCE
1999: Pianist, It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues, Vivian Beaumont Theater, Lincoln Center
1998-2001: Weekly performances, Jazz night at Firenze with the Darby Dizard Trio
1979-present: Numerous performances at Jazz clubs around New York, Birdland, Sweet Basil, The Nuyorican Poet's Cafe, Smalls, St Nick's Pub, etc.  Notable co-performers include Britt Woodman, Doc Cheatham, Milt Hinton, Sir Roland Hanna.
1976-present: Pianist for numerous theater and cabaret performances at La Mama, Theater for the New City, Don't Tell Mama, the Duplex, etc.  Notable collaborators include Tom O'Horgan, Michael Bennett, Alan Menken, Ron Taylor.


THE DUKE ELLINGTON ORCHESTRA
2007- Additional arrangements for Such Sweet Thunder to accommodate dances, singing, and other     theatrical elements, The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, Kennedy Center
1987- 1996: Staff arranger and composer, Duke Ellington Orchestra
1988- 1996: Conductor, Archivist, and Musical Director for A Drum is a Woman, Ellington and     Strayhorn’s allegorical history of Jazz.  World Premiere performance by the Duke Ellington     Orchestra at the Beacon Theater on the occasion of Duke's 90th birthday.
1990- 1996: Synthesist and percussionist for the Orchestra.  Performances include Carnegie Hall,     Symphony Space, and the Smithsonian Institution.

 

REFERENCES

Dr. Stephen Jablonsky
Associate Professor of Music
City College of New York
212 650 7663
sjablonsky@ccny.cuny.edu

Kevin Blancq
Jazz Band Director
La Guardia High School of Performing Arts
917 572 3399
kbqarts@gmail.com

 

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