Christopher first came to Fargo Faith United Methodist Church as a charter musician of the Big House Band in January of 2011. Pastor Kevin Kloster was serving as the Lead Pastor at the time and was looking to start a Contemporary Worship Service. Christopher joined the group as a bassist and vocalist and shortly there after, became the director of the ensemble. The Big House Band played their first service in March of 2011.
Christopher became a member of Fargo Faith a few short years later and became a part-time staff member leading the Big House Band.
He was afforded the opportunity to become a full-time staff member in May of 2015 coming on as the Executive Administrator and Director of Music. He became the Worship Leader in January of 2016 under Pastor Martin Avery.
Most recently in late August of 2018, he took on the job of Youth Pastor under Pastor Ray Baker.
Christopher's Professional and Military Biography
Christopher Hanson, originally of Minot, North Dakota, is a performer and educator in the North Dakota and Minnesota area. Throughout his career, he has traveled through a unique life path of musical experiences that allow him to share his knowledge in an interesting and different way than other musicians. Using a method of "teaching by experiences", Hanson has used his military career coupled with his musical upbringing to share his musical experiences and expertise with many.
Hanson graduated high school in Minot (Magic City Campus High School) in 1995 and joined the military in November of that year. During his time in the active duty Army, he was stationed in South Carolina, Virginia, and for over three years, at Fort Sam Houston, Texas in the heart of San Antonio. In the 323rd Army Band of the US Army Medical Command, Hanson performed in virtually every ensemble within the unit to include concert band, marching band, brass quintet, Latin band, jazz combo, country band, and show band. He served as a featured trombone soloist with the jazz ensemble and worked in additional duty positions to include Operations and Training throughout his enlistment. During those same three years, Christopher was active as a freelance musician during his off-duty time, performing with various rock, country, Latin, and jazz bands and ensembles.
Upon the end of his active duty enlistment, he returned to North Dakota to attend school at North Dakota State University in Fargo studying trombone performance. Since arriving back home over a decade ago, Christopher has performed as a bassist, trombonist, vocalist, and composer/arranger with countless bands and ensembles to include Patents Pending, Tripp 40, Fat Daddy's, Helena Handbasket, The Jazz Nickel, Salsa de Fargo, the FM Community Theatre, Little Country Theatre, the FM Chamber Chorale, the Living Hope Baptist Church Worship Band, the Jazz Inc. Big Band, the FM Kicks Big Band, the Fargo Theatre All Stars, and numerous chamber ensembles performing everything from jazz to classical. He served on the Jazz Arts Group Board of Directors for two years and was a member of the Jazz Arts Group Education Committee for three years. He also performed both as lead and solo trombonist in the Jazz Arts Group Big Band from 2003-2011. Hanson currently serves as the musical director of the Imperial Big Band of the El Zagal Shrine and also functions as the Worship Band Leader at Faith United Methodist Church in north Fargo. Hanson is also the Executive Director of the Jass Festival, an annual summer jazz festival held in the Fargo-Moorhead area. The objective of the festival is to provide educational opportunities for jazz musicians and jazz lovers and to promote jazz talent in the Red River Valley area. On the outside of his music work, Hanson is active in veterans advocacy serving as an officer and member of the American Legion (Gilbert C. Grafton) Post 2 in Fargo.
Throughout his musical career, Hanson has performed and soloed with many of his jazz heroes to include Andy Martin, Randy Brecker, Wayne Bergeron, and Slide Hampton, and has also had the opportunity to perform with Loretta Lynn, Janie Fricke, the Temptations, and the Four Tops just to name a few.
Christopher recently retired from the United States Army and the North Dakota National Guard after nearly 22 years of service. His time in the National Guard included a six-year Active Guard and Reserve tour with the North Dakota Army National Guard serving as the Human Resources Non-Commissioned Officer and the Assistant Operations Non-Commissioned Officer of the 188th Army Band. Prior to his full-time appointment with the 188th Army Band, Hanson served two years on active duty as the Assistant Team Leader for Military Funeral Honors Southeast, an organization dedicated to providing military funeral honors to all men and women who wore the uniform defending the United States of America. As a traditional Guard Soldier, he served as a trombonist and bassist, and was the chief arranger and musical director of Blues in Green, a widely requested rock and horn ensemble in the North Dakota National Guard.
Hanson's military awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), the Army Commendation Medal (five awards), the Army Achievement Medal (three awards), the Good Conduct Medal (three awards), the Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal (three awards), the Nebraska National Guard Achievement Ribbon, the Honor Guard tab, and the North Dakota Military Funeral Honors White Lanyard. In January of 2012, Hanson was selected as one of 35 military bandsmen to be awarded the Finley R. Hamilton Outstanding Military Musician Award by the John Philip Sousa Foundation and the National Band Association. The Finley R. Hamilton Outstanding Military Musician Award acknowledges outstanding Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard enlisted musicians and honors the memory of Colonel Finley R. Hamilton, US Army (Retired), who succumbed to cancer while serving as President of the National Band Association. The recipients of this distinguished award exhibit outstanding musical and leadership excellence.