Dr. Christopher Barrick is director of and tenured professor in the School of Music & Dance at Eastern Michigan University, where he leads the oldest collegiate music program in the state of Michigan. Prior to beginning his appointment at EMU, he served as the head of the Department of Music and the James & Ann Bumpass Distinguished Chair of Music at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith (2014-2019), as well as in faculty and administrative roles in the Department of Music and Theatre at West Liberty University (2008-2014). Barrick is a visiting accreditation evaluator for the National Association of Schools of Music, and served as president of the Arkansas Association of Schools of Music from 2018-2019.
As a saxophonist, Barrick has given recital performances at numerous professional conferences including those of the North American Saxophone Alliance, the United States Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium, the World Saxophone Congress, and the Association for Technology in Music Instruction. An avid proponent of new music, Barrick has given premiere performances of saxophone works by such composers as James Bishop, Ryan Oldham, Matthew D. Harder, Luke Mayernik, William Funk, Jamie Wind Whitmarsh, Brian Rhodes, Terri Bailey, and Charles L. Booker, Jr. He has performed professionally with nationally known artists such as Doc Severinsen, Johnny Mathis, the Legends of Swing, the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Wayne Newton, Rick K. and The Allnighters, the Harry James Orchestra, The Four Tops, and The Temptations.
Barrick's research interests include saxophone repertoire and pedagogy, jazz studies, and academic leadership. His scholarship has been published in the Department Chair journal and the North American Saxophone Alliance's Saxophone Symposium, and in 2009 he published a book on the saxophone repertoire of composer Elliot Del Borgo. Barrick has given scholarly presentations at the Academic Chairpersons Conference, the International Clarinet Association's ClarinetFest, the United States Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium, regional and biennial conferences of the North American Saxophone Alliance, the national conference of the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors, and regional conferences the College Music Society.
A strong proponent for music education, Barrick began his career teaching instrumental music in the public schools of Newport, Tennessee. He now stays active as an adjudicator and clinician, having presented saxophone and jazz clinics at the United States Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium, the Arkansas Bandmasters Association, the National In-Service Conference of the National Association for Music Education regional conferences of the North American Saxophone Alliance, and at the annual conference of the West Virginia Music Educators Association.
A talented multi-instrumentalist, Barrick frequently performs blues, jazz, and rock styles on electric bass. Having studied with Pittsburgh's Jeff Mangone, Barrick has performed as a bassist with a number of legendary artists including Sonny Turner and the Platters, The Crystals, The Coasters, bluesman Lucious Spiller, and Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Robert Tepper. From 2016-2018, he performed across Arkansas with internationally award-winning blues guitarist Chris Cameron.
Originally from New Jersey, Barrick holds music degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (D.M.A.), the University of Tennessee (M.M.), and Indiana University of Pennsylvania (B.A. and B.S.). He is a proud Endorsing Artist for Conn-Selmer and performs on Selmer Paris saxophones.