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 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 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 then, Chris has written works for orchestra, dance, theater, television, and advertising and toured the country as a bassist. His music has appeared in Cirque du Soleil, the TV network VICELAND, 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 to DTE Energy Music Theater in Michigan. His first book, Chordcraft: A Workbook of Popular Music Harmony, is one of CCM’s required music theory texts.
Chris is thrilled to bring his experience and verve to California College of Music to empower and inspire the next wave of music mavens. He currently teaches courses including popular music theory, ear training, rhythm training, songwriting, and arranging and leads the Contemporary Ensemble, in addition to having served as Interim Dean for the Summer 2018 quarter during Dean Brummel’s sabbatical.
M.M. in Composition, The Juilliard School
B.M. in Composition, The Juilliard School
Watch Chris in action below: