Chris O'Hara


Chris O'Hara


Chris is an award-winning composer, choral director, singer and music educator. He developed his love of singing as a member of the Merseyside Youth Choir and as a chorister at one of Liverpool’s cathedrals. At the University of Leicester he also studied composition and singing, winning a scholarship to sing in the Scottish National Chorus in a series of concerts in Israel with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Daniel Barrenboim. Chris has been Head of Music in a variety of High Schools in the UK and is presently teaching at Whalley Range Girls High School in Manchester.

Chris has composed several cantatas and musicals for children’s and SATB choirs, soloists & instrumental ensembles including ‘The Mountain’ (1997 – on the theme of nature conservation) and ‘The Other Shore’ (2007 – reflecting the story of the 1938 Kinder transports). May 2012 saw the premiere of a new work by Chris for choir, soloists and orchestra – ‘The Trees Alone Remain’ – written for the charity the Woodland Trust. He has been a musical director and arranger for Radio 4’s ‘Daily Service’ and for several of BBC’s ‘Songs of Praise’ programmes and in 2008 Chris worked for six months as vocal coach and choral arranger for BBC1’s popular drama series about choirs starring Sarah Lancashire and Neil Pearson: “All the Small Things”. Since September 2011 Chris has been working freelance as a composer and arranger. In 2013 his choral composition ‘We Dare To Dream’ was selected as the official theme song for the Hong Kong International Youth and Children’s Choirs Festival. In December 2014 he was selected as a finalist in the first Jean Sibelius International Composition Competition and in April won the US-based Pullen Memorial choral composition prize. His choral composition ‘Scars Upon Their Hearts’,setting the work of women poets of the World War One era, was premiered by the Manchester Chorale in May 2018. In 2021 Chris was awarded 2nd prize in the prestigious Japan International Choral Composition Competition for his composition ‘Jubilate’. On Sunday 20th November at Buxton Opera House is the concert (semi-staged) premiere of a musical based on the Richard Llewellyn novel ‘How Green Was My Valley’- for which Chris has composed the songs and orchestrated the music.

Writer Type

Lyricist, Composer

Other Skills

Arranger, Musical Director, Musician, Orchestrator, Transcriber