Percussionist Chris DeChiara, a native of Burlington, Massachusetts, earned a Bachelor of Music in percussion performance (cum laude) from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, studying with Jeff Fischer and Fred Buda of the Boston Ballet and Pops; and a Master of Music in performance with academic honors and distinction from the New England Conservatory, studying with Will Hudgins of the Boston Symphony.
DeChiara has performed nationally and internationally, participating in the Rome Festival Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival, Spoleto Music Festiva, and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival in Germany, and in 1999 was the principal percussionist of the United World Philharmonic in Bonn. He has performed under the batons of acclaimed directors Sergiu Comissiona, Lawrence Foster, Keith Lockhart, Mstislav Rostropovich, Julius Rudel, Stanisław Skrowaczewski, Christoph Eschenbach, and James Conlon.
Having joined the U.S. Navy Concert/Ceremonial Band in 2001, DeChiara has performed with the ensemble as percussionist/timpanist and xylophone soloist. As a member of the Navy Band Ceremonial Unit—performing music at official military, government, and other special events—DeChiara has had the honor of accompanying the ensemble at three presidential inaugurations and the funeral of former president Ronald Reagan and Senator John McCain.
DeChiara has performed with the Alexandria Symphony, Annapolis Symphony, National Philharmonic, Boston Ballet, Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Kennedy Center Ballet and Opera Orchestra, Harrisburg Symphony, Maryland Symphony, and the Rhode Island Philharmonic. Some performances have led him to venues as Symphony Hall and Fenway Park; Carnegie Hall; the Kennedy Center and Capitol Center in Washington, DC; and the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
DeChiara mans the drumkit in several Washington DC-area bands, among them, DC veterans Dr. FU, Iron Maiden tribute band Eyes of the Nile, and Herr Metal. He’s also the lead vocalist/founder of the Beatles acoustic group, Nowhere Men. DeChiara’s performances span venues across the DC metropolitan area and has shared the stage with Third Eye Blind, Pat Benatar, Cheap Trick, 311, Dee Snider’s Widowmaker, Vicious Rumors, Larry Gatlin, Kongos, White Trash, Arlo Guthrie, Arturo Sandoval, Maynard Ferguson, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, Steve Miller, ZZ Top, and John Fogerty, Broadway Tony award winner Jason Robert Brown, NBC star Wesley Taylor, and Rent’s Adam Pascal.
He is currently principal timpanist/percussionist of the self-conducted Ars Nova Chamber Orchestra, principal timpanist of the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, and was principal percussionist of the Wammie-award-winning chamber ensemble, Great Noise Ensemble, for 11 years.
DeChiara conveys his passion for the arts by mentoring the next generation of musicians, teaching masterclasses, clinics, private lessons, percussion ensembles, drumlines, front ensembles, and coaching orchestra and concert band percussion sections in the DC metropolitan region. DeChiara maintains a studio in Burke, Virginia, where he teaches private lessons, records drum and percussion tracks for clients, and produces drum and percussion videos.