Chris Sies is a percussionist and composer originally from Manchester, Maryland. A diverse performer with "virtuoso flair" (Detroit Free Press), Chris has appeared with the United States Navy Band, New Music Detroit, The National Arab Orchestra, The Black Earth Ensemble, My Brightest Diamond, and the “experimental powerhouse," So Percussion. An avid promoter and performer of contemporary music, Sies has premiered numerous works including the world premiere of Phil Kline’s Dreamcitynine, the Midwest premiere of John Luther Adams' Sila: The Breath of the World as well as several premieres of JLA’s bombastic percussion masterpiece Inuksuit. He has performed at such events as the New Music Gathering, Midwest Composer’s Symposium, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, New Music Detroit’s annual Strange Beautiful Music as well as the Bowling Green State University New Music Festival. In April 2013, Sies was chosen to participate in the 21st-Century American Contemporary Ensemble workshop at Carnegie Hall with world-renowned conductors John Adams and David Robertson. As an orchestral musician, Sies has worked under the batons of Brad Lubman, Jeffrey Milarkski, Michael Tilson Thomas, as well as Elim Chan. Chris has also attended the Chosen Vale Percussion Seminar (2011), the So Percussion Summer Institute (2012), the Fresh Inc. Festival (2013), the Bang on a Can Summer Festival (2014) as well as the Roots and Rhizomes Percussion Residency (2014) at the Banff Centre with renowned conductor and percussion guru Steve Schick.
A passionate educator, Chris Sies has taught at the undergraduate, high school, middle school, and elementary levels. During his time in Ann Arbor, Sies served on the faculty at the University of Michigan's School of Music Theatre & Dance teaching undergraduate students, coaching the award winning UM Percussion Ensemble, presenting master classes, as well as directing the iMpact! Percussion Ensemble - a Michigan Youth Ensemble for young percussionists. Sies was also active within the Ann Arbor community with private students going on to win state solo competitions and participating in the Michigan All State Bands and Orchestras. Additional engagements have included serving as an instructor for the Baltimore Symphony's OrchKids program, as well as serving on the music faculty at Triton College and The People's Music School in Chicago, IL. Now based in Waco, Texas, Chris continues his passion for educating young artists as a percussion faculty member at Baylor University, alongside renown pedagogue Dr. Todd Meehan.
As a composer and collaborative artist, Sies has worked in many facets including dance, performance art, and multimedia with projects presented by the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS), the Percussion Arts Society, Ann Arbor Dance Works as well as the Detroit Bureau of Sound. His most recent collaboration with dancer/choreographer Maddy Rager entitled, (renewed), was featured at the American College Dance Association's National Gala performance in Washington D.C. which included several performances at the Kennedy Center. As a sought after drum set player, Chris has worked with many bands, most recently with Baltimore-based ska act Stacked Like Pancakes, and the D.C area experimental rock ensemble, Sam Cooper and the Sleepwalkers including two U.S. tours as well as two full length albums. Chris continues to seek new collaborations with artists and has recently started new work with Waco-based Out On a Limb Dance Company. Among his many musical projects, Chris Sies is an active member of the Willo Collective, and is the percussionist and technical director with new music ensemble, Latitude 49.
Chris Sies proudly endorses Vic Firth drumsticks and mallets.