Ridgefield resident Kris McCormick's legacy honored with scholarship, dedication concert

Ridgefield resident Christopher “Kris” McCormick, who passed away in 2020, is being honored with a scholarship endowment in his name, The Christopher R. McCormick ‘15 Memorial Endowment for Musical Achievement and Potential, at Susquehanna University (SU), from which he earned a Bachelor of Music Composition with an emphasis in Vocal Performance in 2016.

The dedication concert, where five recipients will receive their scholarships, will take place on Saturday, April 1, 2023, at 7:30 p.m., in Stretansky Concert Hall in the Cunningham Center for Music and Art on campus. Two dozen musicians will perform Kris’s music as well as pieces he loved. The endowment will honor Kris’s memory by rewarding scholarships to Susquehanna University’s most accomplished and promising music students. To mark the first endowment awards, Kris McCormick’s name will be inscribed on a plaque to hang permanently in the lobby of Stretansky Concert Hall.

In a life shortened abruptly by a sudden illness, Kris McCormick contributed much to the music field. As a composer, music producer, singer, instrumentalist and actor with commissioned works, collaborations and performances including singing at Carnegie Hall, Kris’s talents spanned classical voice to improvisational jazz and chamber orchestras. After graduating from Wooster School, Danbury, Connecticut in 2011, Kris became a vibrant member of Susquehanna University’s Department of Music and established himself as an innovative, enthusiastic participant and leader. He went on to earn a Master of Music Composition from The Johns Hopkins University Peabody Conservatory of Music in 2017. Highlights of Kris’s achievements include his one-act opera, In A Grove (book by Joseph Maltese ‘15), which he composed, produced and directed. He also sang the title role in an SU production of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and contributed his talents to the University Choir, Chamber Singers, and his Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity. 

The “Achievement” segment of the awards, to be given in perpetuity through this endowment, is inspired by Kris’s success at composing, producing and directing his one-act opera, In a Grove (book by Joseph Maltese ’15) while at SU.

Kris gained inspiration, experience and connections through programs in Japan, Italy, Maine (Bowdoin College), New York and Connecticut; thus the “Potential” half of the award is designated for a student to travel to a summer music festival.

At the time of his death, Kris was employed by Sharps & Flats Music Conservatory in Ridgefield, Connecticut as a teacher of piano, composition and voice and by Assumption/Our Lady of Fatima Church in Scarsdale, New York. Kris was also an independent music producer.

Kris’s work lives on in several podcast and film scores, some still in production. His string piece Coast will be performed this summer at the Charles Ives Music Festival in Danbury, Connecticut, in conjunction with work from Kevin Puts, Kris’s teacher at Peabody.

To attend the tribute concert via live stream on Saturday, April 1, at 7:30 p.m., click the link below:

Submitted by Ridgefield, CT

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