Chris Walden

Composer - Arranger - Conductor



"The Art of Arranging for Big Band & Strings"

August 18+19, 2018 in Los Angeles

Chris Walden will teach an exclusive 2-day master class about writing big band and orchestral arrangements for commercial projects. This master class includes a recording session with a live big band at the historic Capitol Studios in Hollywood, CA. The number of participants is limited to 24 people.

DAY 1 (Aug 18): Chris Walden will talk about all aspects of creating an arrangement, from various technical aspects, working tools, to orchestration techniques, voicing options, voice leading, counterpoint, and re-harmonizing. He will give an inside look into many of his arrangements he wrote for artists like Michael Bublé, Josh Groban, Diana Krall, and many more. Using these examples participants will have an exclusive access to original complete scores of these productions and Chris Walden will explain in detail the numerous creative aspects of these arrangements. He will also talk about his own career and the various business aspects that arrangers are confronted with.

DAY 2 (Aug 19): Each participant will have 10 min. to conduct and record their own piece with a 17-piece big band at Capitol Studios, and will receive an mp3 of the recording to be used for demo purposes only. Chris Walden will guide the recording session and give each participant feedback on their work.
Participants are not expected to write a new arrangement after day 1 over night. Participants should bring an existing arrangement, and at the end of day 1 participants will have a chance to show the score to Chris and get some feedback, so they can adjust their piece for recording session if necessary. On both days there will be access provided to a facility where scores and parts can be printed and taped.

The price to attend this 2-day master class is $950 (USD) and it includes all learning materials, PDFs of score samples, and the studio recording with a live big band. It does not include hotel and travel costs and it does not include meals. However, small snacks, coffee and tea will be provided.

For questions please email
To register please click the button "Pay Now":


The masterclass will be held at Capitol Studios, 1750 N. Vine Street, Hollywood CA 90028
Learning materials and score samples will be available online as PDF files 2 weeks before the date of the master class.


9:00 AM - 1:00 PM: Lecture part 1
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM: Lunch break
2:00 PM - 6:00 PM: Lecture part 2
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM: Dinner break
7:00 PM - 10:00 PM: Music preparation for recording session, if needed. (Printer and paper will be provided)


10:00 AM - 1:00 PM: Recording session
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM: Lunch break
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM: Recording session


Please bring one big band arrangement you want to record. It should not be longer than 5 min. The parts need to be printed and the pages taped together. Please bring 3 score copies, the score should be printed on double-sided paper and also be bound or taped. If you need to print your score or parts because of changes you want to make after hearing the lecture on day 1, there will be a printer and paper available on both days. In this case be sure you bring your notation files on a removable drive or your laptop. 


Even though the lecture will be about writing for big band as well as strings, for the recording we'll only have a 17-piece big band. The instrumentation is:

2 Alto Saxes (double on flute), 2 Tenor Saxes (double on clarinet), 1 Baritone Sax (doubles on bass clarinet)
4 Trumpets (double on Flugelhorn), 3 Tenor Trombones, 1 Bass Trombone
Guitar, Piano, Bass (upright and electric), Drums