Artist in Residence, B.M., SUNY Buffalo; M.M., Hartt School. Percussion, Percussion Ensemble, Music Technology, Theory, Aural Skills
Johannes Brahms said: “art is a republic.” Greater than any one composer or performer. I want my students to develop a community and have the shared experiences I had. The history of music is filled with successful collaborations. Though every musician needs to develop a strong fundamental technique, equally important is learning to successfully collaborate across musical genres as well as across other disciplines in the liberal arts.
Christopher Swist has taught percussion, music technology, composition, and music theory at Keene State since 2003. He has also served on faculty at Bennington College, The Hartt School, Holyoke Community College, and Franklin Pierce University. He often performs with the Hartford Symphony as well many other orchestral and contemporary ensembles across the Northeast. His diversity is reflected in professional engagements as an orchestral percussionist, combo player, contemporary musician, solo marimbist, recording engineer, sound designer, studio fabricator, and composer.
In 1999, The Instrumentalist stated that his published work “should become a part of contemporary four-mallet marimba repertoire.” Since then his compositions have been performed across the United States and Canada as well as in Europe, Brazil, Argentina, China, and Australia. They are published by Keyboard Percussion Publications in the US and by Edition Svitzer in Europe. His solo CD Whitewater, funded by the Yvar Mikhashoff Trust for New Music, was released to critical acclaim in 2001. Percussive Notes found the recording to have “musicality, interest, and excellent sound.”
Mr. Swist has M.M. degrees in both music performance and composition from The Hartt School as well as a B.M. in music performance from the State University of New York at Buffalo. His percussion professors were Jan Williams, Tony Miranda, Ben Toth, and Al Lepak. For composition he studied with Jeffery Stadelman, Stephen Gryc, Robert Carl, Kenneth Steen, and Ingram Marshall. Christopher also often travels to Brazil, where he has studied traditional styles as well as contemporary Brazilian percussion literature.