Our Conductor

Christopher Newport was born in Lincoln only a few miles from RAF Scampton, the home of the famous ‘Dambusters’ 617 Squadron. He was immersed in music from an early age, his father being organist of the Central Methodist Church and his mother a keen amateur musician.

Piano lessons began at about the age of eight and, on entering Secondary school, he joined the school orchestra as a percussionist. He was reliably informed that the piano was not in great demand but percussion players were needed – his mind was made up, after all, how difficult could it be to hit something? He soon learnt that when to hit it was not so easy!

By the age of thirteen Christopher was looking to move away from the ‘shed builders’ (as percussionists are affectionately known) and took up the French Horn. This was an instrument his father had dabbled in and as luck would have it there was one left in the school music cupboard.

After finishing his school education Christopher entered the Royal Academy of Music in London to study with the eminent horn teacher, James Brown O.B.E. During his four years at the Academy Christopher was immersed in all types of music, playing in all the major college orchestras, studying history of music, harmony, orchestration, keyboard skills and conducting, both choral and instrumental  and whilst still a student worked with both the London Symphony Orchestra Wind Ensemble and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

Christopher has spent the last three decades freelancing with the majority of Britain’s leading orchestras, opera and ballet companies, and has regularly deputised in many West End Shows. As a member of the London Mozart Players he was lucky enough to travel the world, performing in many prestigious venues in mainland Europe, Scandinavia and the Far East, visiting Japan on several occasions. One of his most enjoyable trips was spending a week on the QE2, living the life of a passenger, with as much food as you could eat, only having to work for an hour a day and being paid for it. On many occasions Christopher performed as soloist with the orchestra, playing concertos around the country, including in the Barbican and Wigmore Hall in London.

Perhaps one of his most memorable performances was when playing at the London Palladium in ‘Singing in the Rain’ – Eric Morecombe, in the audience for that performance, lent over the pit rail and said “you’re the best” – great praise indeed from a man who recognised that he was hearing ‘all the right notes’, and on that occasion, ‘in the right order’.

Christopher is a member of the music staff at Wellington College, Christ’s Hospital and Cranleigh School. He also works for West Sussex Music Trust as a brass instrumental teacher and Ensemble Director.

Christopher Newport took up the position of Musical Director for Copthorne Silver Band in March 2018. He is also Musical Director of the Slinfold Concert Band, a role he has held since autumn 2012.

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