On Nov. 15, 2017, University of Alaska Anchorage professor and trombonist Christopher R. Sweeney passed away following an eight-month battle with cancer.While growing up and attending high school in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, Chris developed a passion for music that would remain a constant focus in his life. Chris obtained bachelor’s degrees in music education and music therapy from Duquesne University, along with a Master of Music and Ph.D. in music education from the University of Miami. His enthusiasm for teaching and performing took him to colleges and universities throughout the United States before moving to Anchorage, Alaska, where he served as professor of music at UAA for 13 years.
During his time at UAA, Chris served two terms as chairman of the Music Department and was the lead instructor overseeing students pursuing post-graduate degrees in music education. In this latter capacity Chris mentored more than 50 students, many of whom now hold teaching positions in Alaska. Always quick witted, Chris will be fondly remembered for his ability to enliven academic committee meetings with astute and hilarious comments. He was also known to share his delicious home-baked goods with students and colleagues.
Deeply committed to the Anchorage music community, Chris was the principal trombonist for the Anchorage Symphony and the orchestras of Anchorage Opera and Anchorage Concert Chorus. He was also a founding member of the Chugach Brass. The music he made, the students he inspired, the deep admiration of his UAA colleagues and the many friends he leaves behind all reflect the passion and joy with which Chris lived his life. Much beloved and respected by those who knew him, Chris leaves a legacy of always striving for excellence as a musician, artist and educator.
He is survived by his sisters, Kitty, Mary Ann and Alice; and his brother, James Jr.
A celebration of life will be held on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2017, at 4 …