Magee Secondary School, located in the southwest Vancouver neighbourhood of Kerrisdale, began in 1912 with nine students in a small, upstairs room in the four room Eburne Superior School in Marpole, the site of the present day David Lloyd George School. The fall of 1913 saw the school move to its present day site at the corner of 49th Avenue and Maple street. At first Magee served all of Point Grey and Kerrisdale from Marpole, Shaughnessy and Dunbar. In total, twelve thousand one hundred and seventy seven acres of the municipality were served by the one high school, and during its first year at the present site, thirty-one students were in attendance. The next school in the area was built in 1917 when the eight room Point Grey opened. During the world wide Influenza Epidemic of 1918, Magee was closed while it served as a temporary hospital. At the end of the crisis, the student population grew to 183 students and the first large wing was built. In October of 2000, a modern, completely “new” Magee was officially opened. As a result of the ongoing collaborative efforts of teachers, students, and administrators, Magee continues to be an outstanding school. The school motto is: Esse Quam Videri – To Be – Rather than to seem to be. The school currently supports approximately 1250 students, of which over 450 are involved in the music department. One of Magee’s most famous music grads is Vancouver bandleader Dal Richards, who was still performing up until the age of 97!
The Magee Music Department has maintained a tradition of excellence in music for the past 35 years since its revitalization in the mid 1970s by band director Mr. Peter Stigings and choral director Mr. John Trepp. The music department is currently under the leadership and inspiration of band director Christopher Haas and choral/orchestra director Greg Quan. You can read more about them on the Artistic Directors page.
Magee groups have thrilled audience throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia, St. Petersburg, Russia, and Japan. In 2009, the Magee students had a wonderful experience traveling to four beautiful cities in Japan: Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Osaka. They were honoured to have the opportunity to meet and share music with the Japanese people, including the teachers and students of St. Mary’s International School, Ristumeikan and Poole Gakuin. They also had the unique opportunity to sing in the Peace Memorial Cathedral in Hiroshima. In March, 2011, the Magee Wind Ensemble, Chamber Choir, and Senior Strings travelled to Europe for 11 days to perform in Germany, Austria, Italy and Hungary. Along the way they visited some of the major cities of musical and historical importance and played and sang in such enviable venues as the San Marco Basilica in Venice, Italy, the Dom Cathedral in Salzburg, Austria, and the Wieskirche Cathedral in Bavaria, Germany. In 2013, we went to Spain as our large tour destination; 2015 England and Scotland; 2017 Cuba; and 2019 we travelled to the Scandinavian countries of Finland, Estonia, and Latvia where we met composers of music we sang and shared music with some incredible musicians!
The Magee music program also receives extensive support from the school administration, the PAC, and our parent organization: The Magee Music Society. The Music Society raises over $10,000 annually to help support the following aspects of the music department: scholarships, festival fees, master class clinicians, instrument and equipment purchases, professional development, guest conductors, support for needy students to go on tour, uniforms and special events such as receptions for visiting ensembles and senior citizens.
“Magee School Anthem”
We are Magee
Strong Proud and Free
We live on eternally
You will feel our spirits soar
As you hear our lions roar
We are Magee
We are Magee!