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TCC grad pursues dream music career

Last December, Chris Eure was behind bars. Now he’s auditioning at prestigious music schools across the nation.

“My lifelong dream has been Berklee College of Music in Boston and now that school is within reach,” Eure said. “With a lot of help and hard work, things have turned around for me.”

Eure graduates from Tidewater Community College in December with a Career Studies Certificate in Music and a pathway to fulfilling his dream of composing music professionally.

While in prison, he recalls listening to a gifted guitar player who had been incarcerated for 19 years. “I remember thinking, ‘What a waste,’ and I decided I was going to change my path,” he said.

A Norfolk native who grew up in Park Place, Eure got his first taste for music in fifth grade at Granby Elementary. “My mom didn’t want to pay the $40 rental fee for a violin, so I ended up with the cello because the school had them,” he said.

By seventh grade, Eure was playing cello as first chair and composing original music that the orchestra performed that year. “There’s something about watching people play your music. It’s exciting and I found it the best way to express my emotions,” he said.

The road to music school has been a winding path. After high school Eure served four years in the Army National Guard and later worked as a climber for a tree service. He now waits tables at a local eatery.

“My motto now is ‘At all costs, pursue your dreams,’” Eure said. “I saw the life I might have had and I know I’ve been given a second chance.

“After hearing other people’s stories, I was compelled to write my story through music. And my path became really clear once I came to TCC.”

Chris Eure in his own words

It was serendipitous that Eure even found TCC. He missed the bus on his way to another college. He landed at TCC’s Norfolk Campus on a whim and found Professor Mark Denison, the new program head for music.

“So this random guy knocks on my office door and says he wants to study music,” Denison recalled. “After he pulls out an original full orchestral score with handwritten notations, I absolutely know this guy is destined for great things. Chris is that rare combination of intellect, talent, dedication and he leads by example.

“The ripples he has created at TCC will be felt for years to come. We are proud to have worked with him, and completely confident in his future success.”

A diehard Metallica fan, Eure says his first love is still classical music. “I think Beethoven was the first heavy metal musician – before electricity,” he added with a laugh.

After touring several music schools, Eure said he has a new sense of purpose. “I’m ready to be immersed in an environment where people are passionate about music and working on their own sound,” he said. “My time here has definitely prepared me for the next level.”

TCC’s music program is still evolving. “It’s going to be a really big program,” Eure said. “It’s only getting better and better. And it’s true, students really can go anywhere from here.”

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