2009 Distinguished Alumni Award


Christopher Fritzsche
B.A. Music, 1989
Director of Music Ministry, Center for Spiritual Living, Santa Rosa
Adjunct Voice Faculty, Sonoma State University

Christopher Fritzsche is a performing artist, an educator, and music director who is known for his exceptional strengths in each role. Mr. Fritzsche graduated cum laude, with distinction from Sonoma State University in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music. After singing leading roles at Sonoma State and with several prestigious Bay Area opera companies, he became a member of Chanticleer, America’s premier classical a cappella ensemble in 1992. During his 11 years with Chanticleer, Mr. Fritzsche performed in more than 1,000 concerts worldwide in venues including The Kennedy Center, New York’s Lincoln Center, as well as many of the major concert halls of Europe and Asia.  The ensemble won two Grammy Awards for its recordings Color of Love (2000) and Lamentations and Praises (2002).

Since his retirement from Chanticleer in 2003, Mr. Fritzsche has returned to Sonoma State University serving on the voice faculty and performing in many programs with the Music Department as well as with the Sonoma County Choral Society, a Sonoma State University community non-profit partnership. Mr. Fritzsche has also created an elective course, Ready. Set. Sing, taught through Sonoma County Choral Society. The course focuses on improving individual technique in the context of choral and solo singing. Since 2008, he has served as Director of Music Ministry at the Center for Spiritual Living in Santa Rosa that serves a congregation of nearly 1,000 members. Mr. Fritzsche continues to be an active soloist, performing in more than 30 concerts a year, and is a member of the men’s a cappella ensemble, Clerestory. “Christopher Fritzsche is an extraordinary person. The caliber of his talent is matched only by the greatness of his soul. He is truly a most distinguished alumnus,” said Arthur Hills, former Sonoma State University Music Department Chair.

“I can think of several key points in my career when the specific advice and encouragement of SSU music professors made it possible to get to the next phase of my career.”