Christopher McElroy was born in Liverpool and educated at the city’s Bluecoat School. He moved on to study at Huddersfield and Liverpool Universities graduating BMus and MMus respectively. During this time he held organ scholarships at Wakefield, Leeds and Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedrals.
After graduating with his Master’s degree Christopher spent four years living and working on the East Coast of the USA holding the post of Director of Music at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, New Jersey. During this time he established the churches noted children’s choir programme, and also founded the concert series ‘Music at Immaculate’ which featured internationally known artists and ensembles.
In September 2004 Christopher returned to England to take up the appointment as Assistant Diocesan Director of Music for the Diocese of Leeds. During this time he founded and directed the Diocese of Leeds Schools Singing Programme, the largest church based programme of choral music for young people in the United Kingdom. In addition to managing this programme, Christopher was the Assistant Director of Music at Leeds Cathedral, conducting the choirs and playing the organ at the daily celebration of Mass and Vespers.
As an organist and conductor Christopher broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio, he appears on several CD’s and has performed recitals and concerts at venues in the UK, Europe and the USA. His choirs have won medals and awards in several competitions, including the World Choir Games (Graz, Austria: 2008) the National Festival of Music for Youth (Birmingham, England: 2009) and the North Wales Choral Festival (Conwy, Wales: 2011)
As an academic, Christopher was awarded a PhD from Liverpool University for his thesis on the reception of Vatican II here in England & Wales. He teaches on the MA in Sacred Music at Liverpool Hope University, has published several articles and regularly leads workshops and seminars in the field of liturgical music. In the Summer of 2016 he led a series of workshops at the RSCM International Summer School, followed in Autumn 2016 with a presentation to the Society of St Gregory’s Autumn Assembly on ‘Liturgy and Imagination.’
In January 2012 Christopher returned to his home city of Liverpool to take up the position of Director of Music at the Metropolitan Cathedral. He trains and directs the professional choir on a daily basis in services and rehearsals in addition to overseeing the wider music life of the Cathedral. In 2012, Christopher directed the world première (and subsequent broadcast première on BBC R3) of Roxana Panufnik’s ‘Joy at the Sound’ drawn from the Choirbook for the Queen. The Cathedral Choir, under Christopher’s direction, toured to Rome in 2014, singing for the Holy Father at a Papal Mass in St Peter’s Basilica and singing services in other notable venues throughout the city.
Christopher is a member of the ISM, the Cathedral Organists Association and currently serves as Chair of the Conference of Cathedral Directors of Music which brings together Music Directors of Roman Catholic Cathedrals across the UK and Ireland. In November 2016 he undertook at 10 day USA tour giving workshops, lectures and concerts in New Jersey, Texas and Indiana.
Outside of music and academia Christopher has held a season ticket at Everton FC for many years, and is an avid long distance runner with Mossley Hill AC and will be running the Virgin London Marathon in 2017.