About Chris

chris-arnold

I have been around barbershop music my entire life, listening to my dad’s quartets since I was very young. My performing career started in school and church choirs; I performed in high school productions such as South Pacific and The King and I. I was also a member of GRCI’s Sears Festival-winning production of Paper Wheat. I joined our local chorus at the age of 16 and very quickly became a musical leader there. My love of vocal music brought me to Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo Ontario where I earned an Honours Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education, followed by a Bachelor of Education degree from the Althouse Faculty of Education in London Ontario. During that time, I branched out into vocal jazz, becoming a founding member of Minor Infraction, an a cappella jazz combo that earned a place at the National Music Festival in Vancouver, British Columbia.

tnlThroughout my years in barbershop, I have been a member of numerous District Champion quartets, as both a baritone and bass singer, and have sung on the International stage nine times. I am a founding member of the Toronto Northern Lights and served as their Associate Director during their formative years, leading them to a 5th place International Bronze medal, followed by 5 consecutive Silver medals. I later directed the MegaCity Chorus of Toronto. While there, the chorus competed three times at the International Convention, and in 2008 they were invited to be the featured performers at the 9th Russian Barbershop Festival. This landmark trip included performances in the greatest concert halls in St. Petersburg, where my arrangement of Moscow Nights and a 17-part arrangement of Circle of Life received standing ovations. I returned to the Northern Lights for a reunion show in 2012, and have been with them ever since. In 2013, I was part of the chorus that I helped to found as we earned our first International Gold Medal in Toronto!

grand-harmonyI have also served the barbershop society administratively in many ways. I have taught at numerous schools throughout Canada, the United States, and Europe, and was a Certified Music Judge for 9 years. I was one of the first Certified Trainers for the Chorus Directors Workshop Intensive program, and served on the Ontario District Executive as the Vice President of Music and Performance. I currently serve as the Director of the APOC chorus, which comprises members of past Ontario quartet champions. In November of 2013 I began directing Grand Harmony Chorus, a women’s barbershop chorus from Waterloo, ON. Through the Sweet Adelines International organization, I earned the designation of Certified Director in October of 2014.

When I’m not singing or teaching, I am busy with my family. My wife Juanita and I can be found cheering for our daughter Brie when she competes on the cheer floor with the Cheer Sport Sharks or on the softball field with the Waterloo Ghosts. We can also be found at Waterloo Krav Maga with our Jr. Black Belt son Brent.

About Quick Start Vocal Productions

In 1998 I took advantage of my talent in sight-singing to create this business of making learning tracks for barbershop groups, becoming the first person to do so as a full-time job. During the eight years that I ran Quick Start Vocal Productions as my primary venture, I recorded over 800 songs for men’s and women’s barbershop groups. I have now returned to do vocal work full-time, which includes musical instruction in addition to making learning tracks. As one of the pioneers of this business, I have gone from producing tapes, to CDs, to mp3s, and with my return have entered the market of fully-automated digital downloads. What a change! I look forward to being part of this industry as it continues to grow and evolve.