* Was awarded the KW Arts Awards Lifetime Achievement Award
* Conducted over 600 concerts and 12 musicals
* Spent 35 years with the Catholic School Board
Michael Bergauer Sr.
Many musicians in Waterloo Region (both professional and otherwise) count Michael (Mike) Bergauer Sr. among their most influential mentors and teachers.
In 35 years with the Catholic School Board, Mike guided countless music careers. He taught vocal and instrumental classes, but also started the high school music programs at St. Mary’s and St. Jerome’s.
He conducted over 600 concerts and 12 musicals, all of which were met with enthusiastic audiences.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Mike led the formation of six different dance bands, mostly comprised of students from St. Jerome’s and St. Mary’s high schools. They performed all over Ontario and many continued to pursue music as a career.
Mike was a leader in youth music in so many other ways, too: he created the K-W Jr. Symphony (now the K-W Youth Orchestra) and, in association with the Optimist Club, formed the first music day camp in North America.
In 1967, Mike’s largest-scale production was celebrated as the best production during Canada’s Centennial year. It was called Opus ’67 and involved 1800 people. It was taped live at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium by CKCO, then viewed by ambassadors around the world. It showcased Canada’s story through music, art and performances by a variety of ethnic groups.
Mike’s own professional music career started early on. He began playing trumpet professionally at 13 and started teaching privately one year later – something he continues to do now that he’s retired.
In 2008, Mike was awarded the KW Arts Awards Lifetime Achievement Award and he is still regularly honoured by high schools and remembered fondly by his students.