Music and Artistic Director

Peter J Hansen

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Description automatically generatedPeter “Pete” Hansen grew up in a musical and harmonious family, as his father, John was the band and music director at Malta High for over 30 years and was the longtime director of the Kishwaukey’s men’s barbershop chorus in DeKalb, IL.  He joined the Kishwaukey’s in 1982-83 and within a couple of years, he  formed a quartet with three other guys from his hometown of Malta.  A few short years later he earned an AIC  scholarship to attend the Society’s Harmony College, a week-long intensive held each year at Missouri Western State University where men could further study and learn the theory and “craft” of barbershop harmony.
He has been a front-line director since 1993, directing several choruses in the Illinois District.  Pete was a certified Singing Category judge from 1997-2007. In addition, he has sung in several district top 5 quartets and has been a sought-after coach and clinician in society as well.

Pete earned an Associate of Arts from Kishwaukee College in 1988, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Northern Illinois University in 1992. While in college,  he sang with the concert choir, university chorus, and the Northern Lights vocal jazz ensemble. In addition, he was also actively singing in his church choir (directed by his father),  a quartet,  and also directing the Kishwaukey’s men’s chorus and singing with the internationally acclaimed New Tradition Chorus. All that and working nights as a custodian at a local high school!!

At NIU Pete studied voice with Dr. Edna Williams and Myron Meyers, and studied conducting and choral methods with Dr Elwood Smith and Dr. Ramona Wis.

While he only taught music for a brief time in public schools, Pete was always active for many years as a judge and clinician for IHSA and IGMSA music festivals and solo and ensemble festivals.
Since 1993 he has directed choirs and music at churches in Kirkland, Batavia, Elgin, and Montgomery IL.
From 2009-2021 he was part-time Director of Music and Worship at First Presbyterian, Rochelle, IL
In 2021, he began full time director of music and worship arts ministry at Sycamore United Methodist Church, Sycamore, IL.

While music is certainly his passion and happy place, Pete will unequivocally tell you his greatest accomplishment and true love is his family. Pete has been married to his beautiful bride, Valerie, for 27 years and they have 4 grown children. Alyssa, Christopher, Nicholas, and Jonathan. All are active in music performance and/or teaching!!   They are also proud grandparents to Parker Ivy and expecting their 2nd grandchild in November 2023!!

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