Chris Kapica, M.M. / Director of Education
Chris Kapica is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, and educator from Carmel, New York who strives to straddle the line between the classical and pop music worlds. He spent his adolescence cutting his teeth as an amateur clarinetist, electric bassist, and musical theater actor before his magnanimous middle school band director Joseph Phillips introduced him to composition. Mr. Phillips’s tutelage and generosity helped propel Chris to The Juilliard School, where he earned the Bachelor of Music (2008) and Master of Music (2009) degrees in composition as a student of Grammy- and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Christopher Rouse. Chris discovered his own passion for teaching as an ear training instructor for Juilliard’s college and pre-college programs from 2007 to 2010.
Since graduating from Juilliard, Chris has written works for orchestra, dance, theater, television, and advertising and toured the country as a rock bassist. His music has appeared in Cirque du Soleil, several programs on the Vice Media TV network, the New York Philharmonic’s inaugural Biennial Festival, Carnegie Hall’s Neighborhood Concert Series, and the Albany Symphony’s American Music Festival. Steve Smith of the New York Times wrote that Chris’s musical offerings in “Juice Box Hero,” his 2010 oratorio about the last day of kindergarten, were “deployed with sure instincts and dramatic flair.” Chris also received a 2009 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award for his choreographed work for mixed ensemble, “Flak,” in which he performed on guitar. As a bassist he has performed in groups who have opened for major artists like the Allman Brothers Band, Neil Young, Heart, the Black Keys, the Neville Brothers, McCoy Tyner, the Raconteurs, Buddy Guy, and Esperanza Spalding in venues ranging from Alice Tully Hall in New York to the Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles. Currently he moonlights as a keyboardist in the “tropical post-punk” band Ghost Lion.
Chris is thrilled to bring his experience and verve to California College of Music, where he hopes his efforts will serve to empower and inspire the next wave of music mavens. He currently serves as our Director of Education and teaches courses including popular music theory, ear training, songwriting, and arranging.
M.M. in Composition, The Juilliard School
B.M. in Composition, The Juilliard School
Watch Chris in action below: