Christopher Parkin was born and raised in Washington State. He began formal saxophone lessons in middle school with Sylvia Baker and continued through high school and college at Whitworth in Spokane. After finishing cum laude with a performance degree, Christopher enrolled at the University of Southern Mississippi in 2005 and moved to Hattiesburg that summer. After a brief delay from Hurricane Katrina, his pursuit of a master's degree began. He held a teaching assistantship in the music department and studied saxophone with Dr. Lawrence Gwozdz and Larry Panella for the next two years until graduation.
As a student, he received distinction in honor bands, solo competitions, and won numerous awards at the Lionel Hampton and North Texas Jazz Festivals. He has had the pleasure to work with many industry professionals including: Patti Labelle, Dionne Warwick, Ricky Lawson, Lee Greenwood, Diane Schuur, Kristin Korb, Lee Konitz, Jimmy Heath, Nicholas Payton, Marcus Printup, Todd Williams, Brian Lynch, Jeff Coffin, Bruce Johnstone, Bob Curnow, Eugene Rousseau, Wildy Zumwalt and the Rascher Saxophone Quartet.
Past employment has included Carnival Cruise Lines as a show band musician and Camp-of-the-Woods: a Christian faith-based lake resort located in the Adirondack Mountains. During his COTW tenure, Christopher served on the music staff as saxophonist/jazz coordinator, eventually becoming assistant music director. Ministry projects and lifelong friendships were extraordinary highlights forged in upstate New York.
Christopher currently teaches saxophone and jazz studiesclasses at his alma mater, Whitworth University. He is also an active clinician and adjudicator, working with students of all age levels. Christopher regularly attends and presents at regional and national conferences such as Jazz Educators Network and the North American Saxophone Alliance.
In addition to his academic endeavors, Christopher enjoys time spent with local bands and orchestras as a free-lance performer around the Inland Northwest. He plays Vandoren reeds and Yanagisawa saxophones exclusively.