An Interview With Mr. Arrigo

By Liang Zhu:

Mr. Arrigo has been a music teacher at Lisgar since 2000. Currently, he conducts the Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, and Senior Jazz Band, but he has also led Lisgar’s Senior Orchestra. His many jokes and good humour help make classes and rehearsals that much more enjoyable.

For those who don’t know you, could you tell me a little bit about your job at Lisgar?
My job here at Lisgar is primarily being the music teacher, and to conduct our ensembles. I’m the head of Fine Arts,
Business and Law, I also organize assemblies such as Remembrance Day, Awards Night and Commencement.

How did you first decide to become a music teacher?
I used to tutor [music] in high school; I found that I really enjoyed it, and I liked conducting and working with musicians.

What would you consider to be your favourite part of teaching music?
Just the opportunity to make music with young people, and being able to work on building something together.

And what about your least favourite part?
I guess I don’t really have a least favourite part (Music is just so enjoyable).

Of the music that you have conducted, played, or listened to, what’s your favourite piece?
Depending on the ensemble, when I conducted the Lisgar orchestra, it was the Crown Imperial, by William Walton. In band, it’s Flourish for Wind Band, by Vaughan Williams. There are just so many great things I’ve conducted; it’s difficult to pick one as my favourite.
You mention your mother-in-law quite a lot, could you explain that a little bit?
She’s really just a prop, based on the stereotypical view of a mother-in-law. Any time I have to describe something dark, or ugly, or … large, she fits the bill.

With the holidays coming up, do you have any favourite holiday music that you enjoy listening to?
I listen to a very eclectic selection of Christmas music, from traditional Bach Christmas
Cantatas and the Messiah to the standard choral arrangements of carols, to jazz, and
brass arrangements.

To wrap up this interview, could you tell us one of your many jokes?
What do you do with a dog with no arms and no legs?
You take it for a drag.