Christopher R. McCormick of Ridgefield was awarded the degree of Master of Music in Composition from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University during commencement ceremonies May 23 in Baltimore. He completed his graduate studies at Peabody as a student of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts.
McCormick has composed works for film, opera, orchestra, wind ensemble, jazz groups, electronic and electro-acoustic music, chamber music, band, and solo repertoire. He has received commissions from the highSCORE music festival in Italy, the Maryland Wind Festival, New York’s Rhymes with Opera, and many solo performers and small ensembles. Along with other Peabody graduate students, he was commissioned to compose electronic music intended for use in medical studies at Johns Hopkins.
His opera “In a Grove,” premiered in March 2015 and conducted by the composer, adapts Japanese writer Akutugawa’s short story (known for the film “Rashomon”) into an opera told through seven testimonies in a murder trial, accompanied by images and film created specifically for the production. An early scene from the opera was selected and performed by Hartford Opera Theater’s “New in November” Festival while McCormick was an undergraduate. He is working with artists and animators on making “In a Grove” into an animated film.
In his film score for “Shipwrecked Under Wasted Tables” by Sean Kiely of Redding, McCormick performed, recorded and produced the all-analog score as well as being deeply involved in the conceptualization, direction, and sound design of the film. He also completed “Graduation,” a song cycle of texts on getting old by living writers Anthony Santulli and Brian Alvarado, parts of which he performed in recital at Peabody. A baritone, McCormick also performed as a member of the Peabody Singers, including an appearance with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
McCormick, a 2011 graduate of Wooster School, earned a BM in Music Composition from Susquehanna University in 2015, where he studied with composer Patrick Long. The son of Lisa and Robert McCormick of Ridgefield, McCormick resides in Baltimore, where he is composing his own new music as well as orchestrating a symphonic work by a living composer.