Biographies

Peter Stigings, Conductor/Music Directorpeter

Little Night Music Orchestra has been fortunate to have Peter Stigings as its Conductor and Music Director since September 2002. Peter has been involved in music and the arts for 40 years, and has served as conductor, adjudicator, evaluator and clinician throughout Canada, the United States and Hong Kong. He has directed bands, choirs, orchestras, jazz bands and is known as a master teacher. His bands and ensembles have participated in numerous regional, provincial, national and international festivals and events, and have toured extensively throughout Canada as well as the United States, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, England, Hong Kong, Macau and Japan.

Peter has served on a number of boards, including the British Columbia Music Educators’ Association, Canadian Music Educators’ Association, Vancouver Kiwanis Jazz Festival, Canadian Stage Band National Festival, Rocky Mountain National Festival, Pacific Music Fraser MacPherson Trust Fund, and the International Association of Jazz Educators. In 1990 the British Columbia Music Educators’ Association awarded Peter an Honorary Life Membership in recognition of his years of service to music education. In June 1999 he received the prestigious Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

Peter retired as Chair of the Fine Arts Department and Director of Bands at Magee Secondary School in Vancouver in 1999. He is presently on the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia as a sessional lecturer and faculty advisor. In February 2002 he co-chaired the BC Music Educators annual provincial conference.

The members of A Little Night Music are challenged and inspired by Peter’s enthusiasm, dedication and ability to convey musical concepts succinctly, and are excited to be playing under Peter’s baton.


chrisChristopher Haas, Associate Conductor

Christopher Haas has been teaching band at Magee since 1999. Prior to teaching at Magee, Chris taught at Gladstone Secondary School and several elementary schools. He has taught the junior concert bands at the UBC Summer Music Institute from 2000 to the present. Chris is an honours graduate of Humber College in Toronto Jazz Performance, Brandon University, University of Calgary and UBC (B. Ed). Chris has received numerous awards from the universities and colleges he has attended, including Outstanding Student Teacher 1996 (UBC).

Chris earned his Masters in Conducting from the American Band College of Southern Oregon University. This international program in wind conducting allowed him the opportunity to perform and learn from some of the top names in the concert band world including: composers Frank Ticheli, Jan Van der Roost, and David Holsinger, conductors Ray Cramer, Col. Lowell Graham (ret. USAF), Kanat Akmetov (Kazakhstan), Frank Wickes (LSU), Philippe Langlet (France), and performers Yeh Shu-Han (trumpet), Robert Spring (clarinet), Harry Waters (trombone), Allan Vizzutti (trumpet), and The Capital Quartet (saxophone).

Chris has been performing professionally on drums and percussion instruments for 30 years. As a freelancer, he has performed all styles of music including rock, jazz, funk, vocal/choral, African, classical, big band, soul, country and blues. He was a drummer and band leader aboard two Celebrity Cruise liners that traveled the Caribbean. In Vancouver, Chris has been actively involved in the Latin-American music scene for over 20 years, performing with all of Vancouver’s top Latin/salsa bands including: Rumba Calzada, Tropicana, BC Salsa, La Clave, Xarabanda, Grupo Jazz Tumbao, Zapato Negro, Tabasko, Tanga, and the incredible all-female, Cuban timba band – D’Talle. Performances with jazz/latin singer Deborah Ledon have included repeat engagements at the River Rock Casino, and a Vancouver Jazz Festival performance that was recorded for CBC radio. Summer 2012 found Chris performing with Deborah Ledon, jazz combo Esprit, salsa band Mazacote, jazz guitarist Dave Ivaz, flamenco guitarist John Gilliat, award-winning trumpeter Gabriel Mark Hasselbach and Dal Richards. More up to date information can be found on his Facebook page and videos of his performances and conducting can be found on his YouTube channel – youtube.com/user/chaaster.

Little Night Music Orchestra welcomes Chris back for his third consecutive season as Associate Conductor. His youthful enthusiasm, coupled with his vast knowledge of a variety of musical genres and styles along with his flexibility to jump in and handle sectionals as well as full orchestra rehearsals and concerts has been much appreciated by both Peter Stigings and the members of ALNMO.


derek80Derek MacDermot, Founder

Derek MacDermot Derek MacDermot was the heart and soul of A Little Night Music for 30 years.

After his first career as a professional singer (interrupted by service in the Canadian Air Force during the Second World War), Derek taught music in the public school systems in Vancouver and on Vancouver Island until his retirement as a schoolteacher. Besides conducting his own school bands, he conducted musicals in Victoria and had a community orchestra in Saanich. When Derek returned to Vancouver in 1970 after obtaining a Master’s Degree in Music from the University of Wisconsin, he recognized the need for a community orchestra in Vancouver and began discussions with the Vancouver School Board to establish an orchestra as part of the VSB’s night school curriculum. Soon afterwards, A Little Night Music was born, and the rest is history.

The Orchestra has fond memories of Derek’s 30 years on the podium. He made a personal connection with each member, and through his encouragement and gentle humour he brought out the best in each player’s abilities (once prompting an audience member at a Robson Square summer concert to identify A Little Night Music as the VSO). Derek’s love of music and devotion to the Orchestra were contagious, and audiences often commented on the obvious enthusiasm of the musicians.

On Derek’s retirement in June 2002, he was appointed Conductor Emeritus of A Little Night Music Orchestra. Sadly, Derek passed away suddenly on December 4th, 2003. Our condolences to his family, including his partner, Joy McKim, former ALNM pianist.

A Community Orchestra Based at Magee School, Vancouver BC