I am a composer, engraver and music technologist. Here you will find samples of my work as well as client projects.
Novemeber, 2013: The new website for Table Top Opera has gone live! I've upgraded the interface including copious information on our upcoming projects. Please visit us at tabletopopera.com
I am currently serving as technical director of Table Top Opera, a faculty ensemble at the Eastman School of Music that focuses on multi-media projects. Below is a list of our productions. For even more information visit tabletopopera.com
The Veils of Salomé will bring together, at the University of Rochester, a distinguished group of scholars and performers to present and discuss images of Salomé as a focus for the study of intersections between religion, the arts, and gender over the centuries.
The performances will combine the extraordinary narrative power of comic books, the technological resources of modern computers, and the emotional impact of live music to stage bold new versions of operatic masterpieces.
The summer of 1964 was an ignominious time in Rochester’s history. During a three-day period from July 24-26, racial tensions exploded in the city. The National Guard was called in to quell the unrest. The immediate costs were enormous: four deaths, about 350 injured, nearly 1000 arrests, and over one million dollars in property damage. Fifty years later in 2014, the consequences are more difficult to calculate but the scars are readily apparent in Paolo Pellegrin’s recent photographs of Rochester’s inner city. One of the world’s leading photojournalists, Pellegrin spent several weeks in the spring and summer of 2012 embedded with the Rochester Police. His graphic images clearly show the levels of poverty and violence that still exist in Rochester: they chronicle the stark reality of life on the streets and demonstrate just how many social questions have gone unanswered.
Pellegrin has stated that he is interested in photography that is “unfinished” and that “can trigger a conversation or dialogue.” The goal of this project is to enter into a musical dialog with Pellegrin’s pictures of Rochester. Table Top Opera is a chamber ensemble comprised of faculty and friends of the Eastman School of Music that specializes in combining live music with other media, including still and moving images. Through the use of cutting-edge computer programs, it sets out to present the images in real time, thereby allowing the musicians to respond spontaneously to what they see. In this case, the musicians will respond to Pellegrin’s extraordinary photographs with a newly composed score based on music created or performed in Rochester fifty years ago. The music includes original music by Christopher Winders and works performed by Duke Ellington in Eastman Theatre some ten days after the riots.
Premiered on Friday, October 26, 2012
Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY.
Pelléas Redux recaptures the shocking aspects of Pelléas et Mélisande. It takes Maeterlinck’s avant-garde ideas a step further by substituting traditional operatic sets with P. Craig Russell’s comic book version of the story and by replacing the singers and symphony orchestra with a contemporary ensemble comprised of classical, jazz, and electronic musicians. Russell’s illustrations are given in their entirety and, using various cinematic techniques, are presented in the form of a motion comic. Debussy’s original score is trimmed down to under two hours, the standard time frame for concert performances and is rescored for a chamber ensemble: violin, alto sax, trumpet, cello double bass, electric guitar, keyboards, and percussion. The performance will feature Charles Castleman (violin), Griffin Campbell (alto sax), Clay Jenkins (trumpet), Albert Kim (keyboard), Ken Lurie (cello), Dariusz Terefenko (piano), Jason Titus (electric guitar), James VanDemark (bass), Christopher Winders and Matthew Brown (sound and projections).
I have been a project engraver for E.B. Marks Music Company since 2002. I have also been employed as marketing assistant and graphic designer, creating jacket designs and contributing to the company website. In 2011 and 2012 I received a Paul Revere Award from the Music Publishers Association of America - First prize: Choral Music (2012) for Bolcom's A Song for St. Cecilia's Day and Second Prize: Piano-Vocal Music for Bolcom's Lucrezia.
Christopher Winders, originally from central North Carolina, holds a Ph.D. in composition from the University of Rochester, Eastman School of Music. His dissertation advisors were Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon (composition) and Dave Headlam (thesis). While at Eastman he recieved the McCurdy Prize in 2003 and the Samuel Adler Scholarship in 2004, in addition to a departmental assistantship. His principal teachers have been Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, David Liptak, Allan Schindler and Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon. In 2006-07 he was a teaching assistant in the Eastman Computer Music Center.
Christopher holds both a Bachelor's and Master's Degree from the North Carolina School of the Arts, where he was a teaching assistant in the theory and aural skills divisions. While there he also was responsible for all departmental audio recordings for faculty and students (1998-2002).
Prior to his study at NCSA, Christopher studied Film Composition at Berklee College of Music, including film history and sound design.
Current research includes theoretical extensions of George Perle's Twelve-tone tonality, as well as java programming for generating analytical and compositional tools.