Christopher Berry, organ
Christopher Berry’s international career as an organist began in 1993, when he served as an organist for the final liturgy of World Youth Day, presided over by Pope John Paul II. Since then, he has performed concerts throughout the United States and Europe, including Belgium, Czech Republic, England, Italy, France, and Poland. His performance venues have included Notre Dame Cathedral, La Madeleine and St. Sulpice, Paris; St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague; and St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome.
Prof. Berry was a two-time semifinalist in the International Organ Competition of the City of Paris and a two-time semifinalist in the American Guild of Organists’ National Competition in Organ Improvisation. He has appeared on Pipedreams and as organist on the compact disk recordings Alzad la Cruz and Psalms, both recorded at The Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas.
Prof. Berry holds degrees in Organ Performance from the University of North Texas as a student of Prof. Jesse Eschbach, where he graduated as the Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Organ, and from the University of Kansas, where he was a Graduate Teaching Assistant as a student of Prof. James Higdon. Prof. Berry was awarded a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship for the 2000-2001 academic year, during which time he won the Premier Prix from the Conservatoire of Rueil-Malmaison, as a student of François Henri-Houbart, Organist of the Church of the Madeleine in Paris. His improvisation study during this time was with Sophie-Véronique Cauchefer-Choplin, organist of St. Sulpice, Paris. During this year, he also studied Gregorian chant conducting with Louis-Marie Vigne at the Paris Conservatory. Prof. Berry spent the summer of 1996 in Paris studying with eminent organists Marie-Claire Alain and Marie-Madeleine Duruflé.
Christopher is the Director of Music and Organist at the Basilica of St. Josaphat in Milwaukee where he conducts the semi-professional Basilica Choir which recently released its first commercial recording, Pax tibi. At the basilica, Prof. Berry regularly collaborates with members of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
From 2009 to 2011, he was Organist and Choirmaster at the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation in Dallas, where he led their renowned choir in English choral residencies at Litchfield Cathedral, Canterbury Cathedral, St. George’s, Windsor Castle, and Westminster Abbey. As Director of Liturgical Music at the Pontifical North American College in Vatican City from 2007 to 2009, Prof. Berry conducted a private concert for patrons of the Chicago Symphony in the Sistine Chapel and produced a recording with the seminary choir, on which are heard his own organ harmonizations of the Gregorian chant propers for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
From 2003 to 2007, he was Music Director and Organist at the Church of the Holy Trinity on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. During this time, he was also heard regularly on Sirius Satellite Radio as an Associate Organist of The Cathedral of Saint Patrick, New York City. Prof. Berry’s full-time professional career as a church musician began when he was appointed Assistant Director of Music at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. in 2001, upon his return from France. In his position, he performed regularly for internationally broadcast liturgies as well as for daily services at the basilica.
Prof. Berry has worked as the accompanist for the University of Kansas Chamber Singers under Simon Carrington, and as Staff Accompanist at Westminster Choir College, where he worked with conductors such as Anton Armstrong, Lorin Maazel, Andrew Megill, and Dale Warland. Recently, Prof. Berry has performed as organist with the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus, the Milwaukee Chamber Choir, and the Orpheus Chamber Singers.
Prof. Berry maintains a high school organ studio and is in demand as a solo performer, accompanist, conductor, and teacher. He teaches for the Carthage Arts Academy.
Recent engagements have included a solo recital in August 2017 at the Cathedral of St. Paul in Pittsburgh, PA, and a September 2017 appearance as a presenter and performer at the Classical Keyboard Improvisation Symposium at Cedarville University in Ohio. Christopher and his wife, Meredith, live in Cudahy, Wisconsin with their young daughters.