Back to home page Biographical Information Swing Masters La Salle Community Concert Band Discography Arrangements

Born in Hamilton, I started my music career as a Clarinet student at the Royal Hamilton College of Music at age eight
. I studied classical clarinet for seven years with teachers Don Allen, John Price and Gary Kidd.

At age 15, I embarked on the learning of jazz improvisation and took up the Alto Saxophone and studied privately with noted jazz saxophonist Pat LaBarbara in Toronto. I continued to play clarinet and studied jazz styles on both instruments. I played in many local swing big bands on alto and doubled on lead clarinet. I also played in numerous concert bands and was a member and later Bandmaster of 150 Hamilton Tiger Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Cadets.

In 1983, I was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant with the Cadet Instructors List, Canadian Forces Reserve. I worked each summer as an instructor of music to Air, Army and Sea Cadets at CFB Borden, Borden Ontario. I received my Bachelor of Arts (Honours Music) degree from Saint Francis Xavier University, where I began playing flute, in 1986 and a Master of Music from SUNY Potsdam the following year.

In 1987 as a Captain I moved to Active Reserve status with the Canadian Forces and served in the capacity of Music Advisor for Air, Army and Sea Cadet Training System for Ontario, based at CFB Borden Ont. In 1989, I was promoted to the rank of Major and continued to serve until March 1992.

I left the Active Reserve to attend the University of Western Ontario and earned a Bachelor of Education in 1993. After a semester teaching instrumental music at St. Mark High School in Manotick, Ontario, I relocated to Kingston to teach grades nine to twelve instrumental music and institute an Adult Instrumental Music Program at La Salle Secondary School, Kingston, Ontario.

In September of 2004, I began my PhD at McGill University in the Intergenerational Education area of research. In December of 2008 I successfully defended my thesis and, in the spring of 2009 graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy.

I am an active musician in the Eastern Ontario area playing in a variety of genres. I have performed classical music as part of the Kingston Symphony and National Arts Centre Orchestra as well as with the Kingston Classics Trio. My dance band, the Swingmasters are a feature every summer on the Island Star cruising through the Thousand Islands. Additionally, I have performed for many private functions as part of a jazz combo. In the summer of 2009 I played in Toronto with the Greg Runions Big Band at the Rex.

Over the next several years I hope to continue my research by broadening the interviews to the adolescents who have taken my music courses and to the families of those involved. This spring I presented some of my research at a conference in Victoria, BC and in the summer co-authored a chapter in a book on community music. In October I presented research at the Music and Lifelong Learning Symposium at the University of North Texas, Denton, Texas. .
Chris Alfano and Ian Fitze
Chris Alfano, Clarinet
Ian Fitze, Accordion
Chris Alfano, Alto Sax

Chris Alfano, Alto Sax

Bill Egnatoff, Katie Legere, Chris Alfano

Kingston Classics Trio
Bill Egnatoff, flute
Katie Legere, bassoon
Chris Alfano, flute and clarinet