The school principal who jumped to his death at Disneyland after leaving a terrifying suicide note online was the son of a well-known Disney parks music director and made the fatal jump on the day of the park’s Christmas tree lighting.
Christopher Christensen, 51, who took his own life Saturday, was the son of longtime Disney parks director James “Jim” Christensen, who died in 2020 at the age of 84.
The elder Christensen was musical director of Disneyland’s Main Street Electric Parade, for which he composed the orchestra and also arranged for the “Fantasia in the Sky” fireworks. This was reported by Theme Park Insider.
Jim Christensen also served as music director and conductor of the Disney All-American College Orchestra at Epcot’s American Gardens Theater from 1984 to 1992.
According to Theme Park Insider, “He and his handpicked young musicians would collaborate every summer with world-renowned artists and celebrities,” wrote Peter Wilson, former string section director of the US Marine Chamber Orchestra, the President’s personal. commander.
On November 30, 2019, Chris posted a photo of his father during a family Thanksgiving celebration.
“It was my father’s first day at home after September 15. He enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner sitting at the head of “HIS” table. So glad we made it happen for him,” she wrote, adding heart emojis.
The elder Christensen “was well known throughout the United States and Canada as ‘The Christensen Voice’ in more than 250 published works.” according to his obituary.
“He was invited to interview to be the music director at Disneyland, which he accepted in anticipation of the opening of Disney World, Disneyland Paris and China,” it said.
In 1968, the family moved to California, where they settled in a hotel across from Disneyland. They later settled in a house in Villa Park.
“Living close to three schools in Villa Park seemed like a good choice as a fourth son, Chris, was born in 1971,” said the obituary of the son who would go on a fatal dive at the playground. about the year. .
Christensen Jr., principal of Huntington Beach Elementary Schools for 22 years, took his own life Saturday.
According to Theme Park Insider, the park was open until midnight Saturday for the annual Candlelight Ceremony, which brings together hundreds of musicians as well as Disney’s biggest stars.
Her death came two days before she was due to appear in court on child endangerment and battery charges.
Police believe her death was a suicide, said Anaheim police spokesman Sgt. Shane Carringer This was reported by the Los Angeles Timesadded that the cause of death will be determined by the forensic examination.
Christensen pleaded not guilty after his arrest on November 15 and was released on $10,000 bail. In a lengthy Facebook post, he blamed a ‘flawed’ legal system for making his life better.
His lawyer, Ruben Frias, declined to comment to the newspaper on Monday.
Chris, who was named Principal of the Year by the Fountain Valley School District, was a musician in his own right and reportedly performed on the cello for concerts and events.
He owns Seaside Strings in Huntington Beach, which provides string ensembles for special events. It was reported by the Los Angeles Daily News.
Dianna Gray, a violinist who teaches in the Irvine Unified School District, told the newspaper she had known Chris for 30 years.
“He was one of my favorite people because I love his musicality. I liked how he handled things. He was always cheerful, funny, he always seemed to find joy in work,” Gray told the LA Daily News on Sunday.
“He was a top professional and he was a people person,” she said, adding that he did not know why Christensen decided to take his own life.
“I only knew Chris from a positive side,” Gray told the newspaper.
In his latest Facebook post, Christensen directly blamed the pending criminal charges for his downfall and played down the problems in his marriage to wife Marlena.
“I hate when people leave this Earth with so many unanswered questions. So I hope this provides some insight and perspective,” he wrote.
“Marlena and I love and adore each other and our relationship has been amazing … until recently,” the comforting man continued.
“Unfortunately, two weeks ago he and I got into a heated argument at home in front of the girls,” she explained, and “tempers flared and some harsh words were exchanged.”
He insisted that he would never “hit, slap or touch his daughter” his wife.
“Unfortunately, Marlena’s anger got the better of her that night and she called the police and had me jailed that night. Yes I do! A person who never hit or hurt ANYONE in his life!” – he added.
If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or are experiencing a mental health crisis and live in New York City, call 1-888-NYC-WELL for free, confidential crisis counseling you can call If you live outside the five boroughs, you can call the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit: SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.