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Chris Archer


Born: 1963


New Zealand music educator, pianist, organist, accompanist and composer, Chris Archer was Head of Music at Villa Maria College until 2000. He was then employed at UC Education Plus (University of Canterbury) until 2009 where he was the secondary music adviser for the Canterbury, Westland, Marlborough and Nelson regions. From 2004 – 2006, Chris was also contracted to the Ministry of Education as National Facilitator – Secondary Music.

Chris completed his studies in composition and holds performance diplomas in piano and organ. He has written mainly for choral groups and has had works performed in New Zealand, Australia, North and South America and Europe. Chris has been a member of the NZCF Education Group and the SOUNZ Composers' Advisory Panel. He has also co-written several publications for use in New Zealand secondary schools, aimed at promoting and using New Zealand music in the classroom.

Chris was also a coordinator for the publication Sound Arts, which is the music education magazine published through MENZA (Music Education New Zealand Aotearoa) the national subject association. He is passionate about music education, and is a former writer, examiner and moderator for senior school music assessment, specialising in composition.

Chris is now Arts Practice Director - Music and Opera at Creative New Zealand based in the Southern Region office in Christchurch. Here, he leads the organisation’s engagement with the music and opera sectors, providing strategic advice on the direction of both art forms and providing specialist knowledge to support Creative New Zealand's funding and investment decisions.

Composed (6)


for SATB choir, 4m 10s

Danny Boy

for SSAA choir

He Whai Mo Te Wera (Charm for a Burn)

for cello and tenor, 3m


for piano, 14m

Suite for Wind Quintet

for 2 flutes, 2 clarinets and bassoon, 8m

The Musical Menagerie

for chamber orchestra and narrator, 9m