CONTACT:  Tom Whaley                                  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

310.450.8338, ext. 70338                                   15 FEB 2013



64th Annual Stairway of the Stars


The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District will present the 64th Annual Stairway of the Stars in Barnum Hall, on the Santa Monica High School campus in Santa Monica. This event remains one of the most popular annual events in both the cities of Santa Monica and Malibu, as it spotlights the talents of the district's music students, teachers, and music curriculum. This year, twenty-six bands, orchestras, and choirs will dazzle the audience at the Stairway of the Stars concerts.  In previous years, Stairway was held at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on Thursday and Friday evenings, but due to the Civic’s recent closure, Stairway will be held at Barnum Hall over three nights: Wednesday, March 6 (Orchestra only), Thursday March 7 (Band only), and Friday March 8 (Choir only).


This year’s Stairway concert will focus on the Choir program, and the guest conductor for the 2013 Stairway will be Dr. Chris Peterson.


2013 Stairway Guest Conductor

Dr. Chris Peterson

Professor of Music at California State University, Fullerton



CHRISTOPHER PETERSON is Professor of Music at California State University, Fullerton where he directs the CSUF Concert Choir, the Titan Men’s Chorus, and teaches classes in choral music education. In spring 2011 he was named the 2010-2011 Cal State Fullerton ASI Outstanding Educator of the Year. From 2001–2007 he was Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Dr. Peterson taught music in the public schools of Maine for nine years, including elementary, middle, and high school music instruction. He is the author of articles published in the Music Educators Journal, is a contributing author for the textbook series Experiencing Choral Music, published in the United States by Glencoe, and is Series Editor, composer, and choral arranger for Hal Leonard’s Close Harmony Series for Men and the Close Harmony Collection. Recently he held the position of State Choral Representative for the California Music Educators Association (CMEA), and is currently the CMEA Southern Section President. Peterson was the Western Division Technology Chair for the 2012 Reno Convention of the American Choral Director’s Association (ACDA), and is currently the Southern Regional Representative for the California Chapter of ACDA. For six years Chris conducted the Milwaukee Youth Chorale, a mixed honor choir for high school students affiliated with the Milwaukee Children's Choir. Dr. Peterson maintains an active schedule as a choral clinician, guest conductor, and judge for festivals and choral performance events across the United States and internationally. Recent engagements have taken him to England, Sweden, Japan, and New Zealand. In his spare time, Chris sings bass with the Masters of Harmony, eight-time International Men’s Chorus Champions of the Barbershop Harmony Society. He earned the Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Southern Maine, and the Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of Maine. He earned the Doctor of Philosophy in Choral Music Education and Conducting from Florida State University where he studied with Rodney Eichenberger, Andre Thomas, and Clifford Madsen.


2013 Stairway Honor Award Recipient

Santa Monica Kiwanis Club


Each year, the district’s 23 music teachers nominate and vote on the “Stairway Honor Award Recipient”. This award is presented to a former student, teacher or organization that has contributed enormously to the advancement of music and arts education in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School district. This year, the 2013 Stairway Honor Award recipient will be the Kiwanis Club of Santa Monica.



This year, the ensembles that will perform at Stairway of the Stars are the All-District Elementary Honor

Orchestra and Middle and High School Orchestras (Wednesday, 3/6): Elementary, Middle, and High School Bands (Thursday, 3/7); and Middle and High School Choir (Friday, 3/8).  Overall, there are approximately 1,000 student performers involved in the event. The 2013 concert will be the 64th Annual Stairway-of-the-Stars concert!


Make a DONATION to support the extraordinary quality of the SMMUSD Music Program! This year, you can include a donation when you pay for your tickets.


GENERAL TICKET SALES ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC: Remaining tickets are for sale at $15 per ticket at Barnum Hall Box Office on the night of each performance starting at 5:30 p.m. On Wed., March 6, tickets will be sold for the March 6 concert only; on Thurs., March 7, tickets will be sold for the March 7 concert only; and on Friday, March 8, tickets will be sold for the March 8 concert only.






1651 16TH Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404

ph: 310.450.8338; fax: 310.581.1138