Chris Heslop graduated with honors from Temple University in Philadelphia, where he studied saxophone with Larry McKenna and arranging/composition with Dr. John Valerio, Dennis DiBlasio and Dr. Paul Miller. After graduating, he went on to study composition and score reading with Dr. Malvina Leshock. He continued his studies in New York City with composers Jim McNeely, Mike Abene, and Mike Holober.
Currently, Chris teaches composition at the Yocum Institute for Arts Education in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania and leads several unique ensembles.
In 2010, Chris was awarded the Frank Scott Award for contribution and involvement in jazz in the Berks County community.
(click here for JazzTimes article)
Chris is also an alumnus of the BMI Jazz Composers' Workshop in New York City under the direction of Grammy winners Jim McNeely and Michael Abene.
He also performs for the Reading Musical Foundation's Jazz Music in the Schools program and is active as a performer and educator for the Berks Jazz Festival. For over ten years, Chris has coordinated educational activities for the internationally known Boscov's Berks Jazz Fest. During this period of time, Chris has helped bring world class musicians such as Randy Brecker, Anat Cohen, Andrew Neu, Denis DiBlasio, Gunnar Mossblad, Michael Davis, Ingrid Jensen, and many more to the students of Berks County.
Chris Heslop has arranged and/or composed for the Reading Pops Orchestra, Dave Stahl Big Band, Rob Stoneback Big Band with Bill Watrous, Gerald Veasley and HeadsUp Superband, CTA with Danny Seraphine, BMI/NY Jazz Orchestra, Kutztown University Jazz Studies, Ringgold Band, and Dave Kline among others. He has composed five shows for the Yocum Institute for Arts Education's Primary Stages Theatre as part of their Jazz For Kids! series and several shows for the original theater group Reading Theater Project.
The latest...in brief...
He has now started on an opera commission with Berks Opera Workshop and the Yocum Institute for a March 2015 performance of The Bear Prince to be performed at the Miller Center for the Arts.
After that, a comission for the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia as a celebration of the Berks Jazz Fest's 25th anniversary and the service of Robert "Doc" Mulligan.