Director of Orchestras
About the Director
Chris Tran is a music educator and conductor originally from Houston, TX. Mr. Tran was appointed as Director of Orchestras at Clear Falls High School in 2021. In this role, Mr. Tran leads the orchestral music program for students at Clear Falls in grades 9-12 and supports all aspects of the orchestral music programs at Bayside, Seabrook, and League City Intermediate Schools. He most recently served as Director of Orchestras at Highland Park High School and Associate Director of Orchestras at Plano Senior High School. He earned a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Colorado Boulder (CU-Boulder), primarily studying with Gary Lewis. At CU-Boulder, Mr. Tran also studied opera conducting with Nicholas Carthy and violin with Charles Wetherbee, concertmaster of the Boulder Philharmonic. Prior to this, he earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Education summa cum laude from Southern Methodist University (SMU), studying conducting with Paul Phillips and violin with Diane Kitzman, Principal Violin of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Tran has led and conducted orchestras at invited national and international festivals, including the Plano Senior Chamber Orchestra at the Midwest Clinic in 2017, and the Plano Senior HS Symphony Orchestra at the 2020 American String Teachers Association (ASTA) National Orchestra Festival in Orlando, FL. He has served the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) and the University Interscholastic League (UIL) in several capacities including Region 20 Orchestra Division Chair-Elect, Region 24 Symphony Organizer, TMEA All-State Symphony Organizer, TMEA All-State Violin Judge, TMEA Honor Orchestra and All-State Judging Host, TMEA Clinic Presider, TMEA Region 17 Concert Host, and UIL Class 1 Violin Solo Prescribed Music List (PML) Chair. In 2022, Mr. Tran was elected as the TMEA Region 17 Orchestra Division Chair. Most recently, the Clear Falls High School Symphony Orchestra was named the 4th place finalist in the annual TMEA Honor Orchestra Competition. He regularly adjudicates solo and ensemble contests, pre-UIL contests, and clinics/leads sectionals for several programs in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston areas.
Previous professional and educational appointments include: Cover Conductor for the Boulder Philharmonic, Co-Music Director of the CU-Boulder Campus Orchestra, and Assistant Conductor and Teaching Assistant for both the CU-Boulder University Symphony Orchestra and Eklund Opera. As Assistant Conductor for Eklund Opera, he has worked on productions of Copland’s The Tender Land, Johann Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus, and Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. Mr. Tran has been a substitute conductor for the Dallas Asian American Youth Orchestra (DAAYO) and the Rice Campanile Orchestra. He has also served on the faculties of the Sam Houston State University Summer Orchestra Camp, the University of Texas at Arlington Summer Strings Camp, and the Bay Area Summer Strings Camp.
Mr. Tran has also been an invited participant conductor at several masterclasses and workshops in Boulder, Los Angeles, Eugene, St. Andrews (Scotland, United Kingdom), as well as the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz, CA with Cristian Măcelaru, Thomas Sleeper, and Leonard Slatkin and the International Conducting Workshop and Festival with Larry Rachleff and Donald Schleicher. He has also worked with conductors Neil Thomson, Jeff Grogan, Neil Varon, and Sian Edwards.
Mr. Tran is the recipient of both the 2011 TMEA Bill Cormack Undergraduate Scholarship and the 2011 Texas Orchestra Directors Association (TODA) Barbara Eads Memorial Scholarship. He was named SMU Meadows’ Young Music Educator of the Year in 2020. Mr. Tran serves as a provisional judge with the Texas Music Adjudicators Association (TMAA) and is professionally affiliated with the Texas Jazz Educators Association (TJEA) and TMEA.