Chris Powell, Piano
Chris Powell is a singer, keyboardist, composer, and educator from Des Moines, Iowa who recently relocated to Chicago. He has been making music as long as he can remember, and has a wide degree of experience onstage, backstage, in the recording studio, and in the classroom. His primary instruments are piano and voice, and he has training in both jazz and classical techniques, as well as experience with most other genres like rock, pop, blues, funk, country and musical theater.
After graduating from high school, Chris studied vocal jazz and keyboard at the School of Music Vocations in Creston, IA with Grammy-nominated jazz arrangers Phil Mattson, Jason Smith, and Jeremy Fox. During this time he found his flair for composition and arranging, writing scores for several theatrical productions around Iowa. He also performed as a member of the award-winning vocal jazz group First Take with Dr. Fox, and began his educational career teaching jazz workshops with First Take across North America while on tour.
After learning about jazz, Chris turned his focus to classical music, which led him to the University of Northern Iowa, where he studied opera with Jeffrey Brich. It was at UNI that Chris developed his skills in stagecraft and studio work, working backstage managing lights, sound, and fly rail for over 50 touring Broadway productions, A-list musicians in concert, and celebrity guest speakers.
After graduating from UNI, Chris moved back to Des Moines to focus on performance, composition and education. He scored and designed sound effects for multiple productions around Des Moines, as well as performing 50-100 shows a year, both solo and as a member of several Des Moines bands. During this time, Chris also directed summer music camps for the Des Moines Music Coalition, and ran a private studio of 25 voice and piano students, as well as working with City Voices, a non-profit after school music program. Chris is a recent transplant to Chicago, having just arrived in September 2018, but he is excited to be a part of City Strings and Piano, and to pass along his knowledge and love of music to as many students as possible!