Chris Wills

Chris Wills


Office: UMC-C304

Christopher J. Wills has performed and recorded for film and television productions including Columbia Pictures’ Spider-Man 2, toured in concert with singer and actress Lorna Luft (daughter of Judy Garland) and Jim Curry with the Pacific Symphony, Houston Symphony, Cincinnati Pops and other orchestras at major venues such as Colorado’s Red Rocks and Irvine’s Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. Wills frequently performs for Broadway musicals and revues at venues such as Carpenter Center. He recorded in sessions with Dale Kristien from Los Angeles’ Phantom of the Opera and Jordan Bennett from Les Misérables.

Wills performed in concert for concert for AXS TV and PBS Soundstage broadcasts: the star-studded Colorado Music Hall of Fame featuring Garth Brooks and Amy Grant at Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater. Wills has performed with Michael Martin Murphey, Joni Eareckson-Tada, James Burton, Buddy Greene, Lillie Knauls, The Nelson Twins, Ingrid Chun, Justo Almario, Tom Boyd, Marsha Skidmore, David Owens, Riche and Roland Gajate Garcia, Tommy Walker, Frank DiSalvo and American Idol’s Carrie Jo Hubrich. Wills also performed with Hollywood actors Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen.

Wills served as composer-in-residence with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic at SUNY. He won Hollywood and national composition awards including the Kenneth Davenport National Competition for Orchestral Works which featured world premiere performances at Bardavon Opera House, and Irwin Kostal Memorial Award for Composition presented by John Williams at the Beverly Hilton. Wills recently composed animation film trailer music for Colossal’s Hollywoodland. He composed A Centennial Tribute to celebrate the founding of Biola University and worked with Invisible Children’s Jason Russell (KONY 2012 viral video), scoring, conducting and recording his USC master’s thesis film entitled Fly at the Steven Spielberg Scoring Stage and screened at Norris Cinema Theatre. He wrote theme music for HCJB World Radio hosted by Eric Skattebo, and is currently composing a work for brass quintet to feature bass trombonist Ilan Morgenstern, is writing arrangements and orchestrations for the Moody Blues in concert with the Philly Pops, is working with Persian pop star Hafez Nazeri and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and is working on a concert with the Pacific Symphony.

Wills has been commissioned by orchestras including the Boston Pops, Houston, Dallas and Atlanta symphonies to arrange for programs such as A Very Merry Pops featuring Broadway stars Ashley Brown and Montego Glover, The Sounds of Simon and Garfunkel concerts currently touring around the country, and Tapestry: the Carole King Songbook conducted by Michael Krajewski, to name a few. Wills also arranged for Great Voices Sing John Denver with Placido Domingo.

Wills was contracted as arranger for Lillenas Publishing for which He Sends the Snow was selected as "Editor’s Choice" at J.W. Pepper, recorded in Nashville. He arranged Americana Suite for the Glendale Symphony, an orchestral video game music series entitled Game On!, Space Oddity: Tribute to David Bowie by David Brighton, orchestrated Neil Diamond material for a concert with Orchestra Kentucky featuring Jack Wright, conducted by Jeffrey Reed, and wrote a number of USC master’s thesis and short film scores.

Wills teaches as Professor of Music at Azusa Pacific, Biola and Vanguard Universities; has authored five textbooks on academic subjects and developed two online ear-training courses. He earned his master’s degree in composition from CSU Long Beach.