Born in Romania, Chris started his musical studies at the age of five, playing the violin under the instruction of his father, a well-respected and prominent violinist of Focsani. At the age of eleven, his talent led him to place third in the Golden Harp Festival in Romania, and he started performing solo and with his string quartet called "Nr.9". He became interested in wind and brass instruments at an early age, and he performed on the clarinet for the first time on stage with his grandfather (who played pretty much all the reed instruments) at the age of 12.

Chris continued his studies at the National University of Music Bucharest (formerly known as the Academy of Music) and has been featured as soloist with the Representative Military Music Orchestra of Romania and played with numerous radio and television orchestra and ensembles.

In 1996 he moved to Canada and in 1997 he attended Wilfrid Laurier University in the Diploma Performance Program. In 2001, he received his Master of Music in Performance from the University of Toronto where he also completed his Doctorate in Music Performance in 2014.

As a musician and as a conductor Chris had the great opportunities to perform on the same stage with numerous great musicians from all over the world, playing and conducting repertoires from jazz to classical music and from baroque to folk and popular music. The majority of his professional experience has revolved around education and performance.

Currently, Chris is the Music Director and Conductor for Guelph Concert Band, Trumpet instructor at the University of Guelph and Music Director at St. John's Kilmarnock High School, among other positions. His trumpet solo album "Tribute To An Idol" was recognized in 2006 by the Juno Awards Committee as one of the best Solo Classical Albums in Canada. 
Chris is also the Founder of Focsani Blues Festival considered the third largest Blues Festival in Europe. 

Inventor

Performer, Conductor and Teacher 

The Mayor's Awards recognize Guelph's difference makers. People from all walks of life who are making outstanding contributions as community builders, volunteers, visionaries and leaders. These are the people who demonstrate how one person really can make a difference. The Mayor has presented Mayor's Award each year since 1997.

DR. CHRIS CIGOLEA

C.I.G. School Founder and Music Director

Winner of the 2016 Guelph Mayor's Award

The Staccator