Given that Craig Hendry was disproportionally uncoordinated as a child, it was only natural that extra-curricular activities in the sporting realm (not for want of trying) were out of the
question. As a result, his parents put him into piano lessons at the age of five and so it was that Craig’s passion for music was born. Throughout his childhood and early teens, Craig took up several other instruments and was involved in choirs, barbershop quartets, symphony orchestras, jazz big bands, amateur musical theater (his stage debut occurring at the age of nine playing Tom of Warwick in Camelot) and even rock cover-bands, a career move that led him to winning the best bass player award at the local battle-of-the-bands competition at age 16. (Interesting side note: the band’s performance at the competition was its first and last due to the lead singer attempting to crowd-surf on a sea of people that ultimately parted, when he leapt from the stage.)
When it came time to venture off into tertiary studies, Craig Hendry began a Bachelor of Science at the University of Queensland in 1998 and whilst he could have put his mind to anything, his heart (and most of the rest of his body) just wasn’t into it. He switched to a degree at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music majoring in Music Technology and half way through, was offered a gig playing keyboards and programming synths and backing tracks for the Australian vocal ensemble, The Ten Tenors. Craig dropped out of music school, packed his bags and took off on a nine-year adventure that would see him travel to 25 countries around the world, record gold and platinum CDs and DVDs, perform at (among others) the Sydney Opera House, London’s Royal Albert Hall and a venue in Western Australia (who’s name currently escapes him) where sheep-shearing was the half-time entertainment, and ultimately meet his better half, Emily, whilst on tour in the USA in 2007. (Important side note: about three years into his stint with The Ten Tenors, Craig switched from the backline to the frontline, becoming one of the vocalists.)
Craig ultimately decided to leave the grueling touring life of The Ten Tenors behind and, newly married, settled in Texas in 2009. The next few years were a bit of a blur when Craig stumbled across a gig playing piano and singing at a dueling piano bar. Performing four nights a week, he was able to refine his taste for country music and brown tequila (and Jack Daniels and Irish Car Bombs and Jägermeister and Jack Daniels).
Craig jumped at the opportunity to reunite with three former Ten Tenor members in 2012, doing a one-off performance at a fundraiser for returned US veterans. Without having even decided on an official name, the quartet began singing at various charity events and by the end of the year, ARIA was officially formed.
In 2013, Craig moved to Los Angeles to focus on ARIA. Craig is the group’s musical director and is responsible for all the arrangements and bad jokes. He also does freelance arranging and session playing for musical groups around the world.
He tends to overuse parentheses when writing and finds it difficult to write about himself in the third person.