Christopher Ryan McCormick, widely known as Kris, 26, passed away in his home in Brooklyn, NY on Monday, February 17, 2020. The cause was a sudden, severe illness, likely complicated by Type 1 Diabetes, which he fought for 24 years.
Kris was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on June 8, 1993, the son of Lisa (Rose) and Robert A. McCormick. His family lived in Ridgefield, CT from 1995 through 2018. He attended Ridgefield schools, and then Wooster Upper School, graduating in 2011. He earned a Bachelor of Music Composition, with an emphasis in Vocal Performance from Susquehanna University in 2015, and a Master of Music Composition from The Johns Hopkins University, Peabody Conservatory of Music, in 2017. He was a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
A composer, music producer, singer, instrumentalist and actor, Kris discovered his love for the performing arts early, in school and community music and theater programs. He appeared in productions at Musicals at Richter, SUNY Purchase, and Wooster, eventually mentoring other children, directing, and writing original music for these programs. He won his first composition award as a high school senior.
At Susquehanna, highlights were his original one-act opera “In A Grove,” which he composed, conducted, and fully staged, a first for the University. He sung the title role in Puccini’s comic opera “Gianni Schicchi,” among many roles and recitals. He went to festivals in Italy, New York, and at Bowdoin College, and he traveled to Japan for music studies with SU’s travel abroad “GO” program. His commissioned work has been performed across the country, and he was thrilled to sing in an ensemble at Carnegie Hall last Fall.
At the time of his death, Kris was employed by Sharps & Flats Music Conservatory in Ridgefield, CT, as a teacher of piano, composition and voice, and as a cantor for Assumption/Our Lady of Fatima Church in Scarsdale, NY.
Trained in classical voice, music composition, and improvisational jazz, he freelanced as a music producer and composer, and wrote for a wide variety of genres, outlets, venues and commissions, ranging from chamber to orchestral and vocal masterworks, to jam bands. Kris scored, recorded, and engineered several critically acclaimed podcasts and short films for private clients in his Brooklyn home studio. An internship at Atomic Sound in Brooklyn fueled his passion for producing, and he appeared around New York as keyboardist and producer with the band “Chicken Over Rice.”
Kris is survived by his parents, Lisa (Rose) and Robert McCormick, longtime Ridgefield residents, and his sister Rachel Rose McCormick of Ridgefield (Jeffrey Youmans); brother Robb McCormick (Kylie Bonfante) and sister Jennifer Rudolph (Joe) of Columbus, Ohio. He left behind his beloved rescue dog, Boris. His adored aunt and musical mentor, Lorra Rose Laven of Ohio, preceded him in death, as did his grandparents.
He is also survived by countless aunts and uncles, cousins, nephews and nieces, family friends, teachers and mentors, students, colleagues and collaborators. His loved ones cannot be counted or prioritized, but uncle Bruce Rose (Ohio) and friends Max Hastings, (Maine), Brian Alvarado (New York), and Mallory Steffes (Florida) were steadfast in his life.
A Celebration of Thanksgiving for Kris’s life will take place on Saturday, February 29, 2:00 p.m. at First Church of Christ, Congregational, 25 Cross Highway, Redding, CT. There will be no calling hours, and interment will be private. Kane Funeral Home, Ridgefield, is handling arrangements.
Contributions may be made to Susquehanna University to support a music scholarship to be endowed in Kris’s memory. They may be directed to: Office of Advancement, 514 University Ave., Selinsgrove, PA, 17870, www.susqu.edu; or to Big Fluffy Dog Rescue, in Memory of Kris and in honor of Boris: www.bigfluffydogs.com. Both are accessible through major social media.
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