PHC 2019 Conductors

Millie Hildebrand


Millie Hildebrand (Winnipeg, MB)

Millie's love for music and the choral arts was launched on the family farm at Oak Lake, Manitoba, where singing was a daily affair and where piano and guitars were always within reach. She and her four sisters soon formed an ensemble, and they sing together to this day. Now familiar to our music community as a teacher, choral director, voice instructor and festival adjudicator, Millie has taught classroom and choral music at all levels and has been active in implementing programs for young musicians throughout the province and in the Steinbach community where she lived for 32 years. These have included collaborations with the University of Manitoba, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the International Peace Gardens Music Camps, regional and Provincial Honour Choirs, numerous choir tours, many musicals and a two-year teaching post in Bucharest, Romania. Going back “a few years”, Millie’s performance history includes productions with Manitoba Opera, Winnipeg Mennonite Theatre, the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus, and Canzona, to name a few. She recently completed her seventh year as director of the Faith and Life Women’s Chorus, and is often seen sharing the podium with husband Ed, with whom she co-conducted the UofM Concert Choir for four years. Millie is co-president of the Manitoba Choral Association, sits on the board of the Women's Musical Club of Winnipeg, and has enjoyed her work as Faculty Advisor with the UofM through the past decade. When away from their music posts, Millie and Ed occupy themselves with family, their garden, and their travel “bucket list”.

Philip Lapatha


Philip Lapatha (Winnipeg, MB)

Philip is very excited to make music with the PHC 2019 community! Born and raised in Winnipeg’s West End, Philip has been shaped by strong, long-lasting friendships and family ties. He has two Bachelor degrees: Music (piano) and Education (senior years Choral and Math), and a Master's degree (piano and music theory).

Philip has had opportunities to develop as a choral teacher and conductor through his connections with students, singers, choral organizations, and choral director friends.  Much has been learned at coffee shops over conversation. Philip is one of two full-time choir teachers at Maples Collegiate (along with Dorothy Dyck) and he directs the community choir Ecco Singers. While the choirs of Maples Collegiate and Ecco Singers take up most of his present artistic direction, Philip has grown in past conducting and teaching opportunities with Gordon Bell High School, Pembina Trails Voices Men and Singers, Elim Chapel, SonoLux Choir, the 2016 Eastern Manitoba Youth Choir, and the 2017 Western Manitoba Youth Choir. Philip also enjoys writing choral arrangements and his pieces have been performed by Prairie Voices, Camerata Nova, Kokopelli Choir, Those Guys, and various high school and youth choirs throughout Manitoba.

Philip is married to Kimberly Lapatha, a talented music teacher and mind-reading accompanist. They enjoy eating at interesting restaurants, improving their rickety century-old West Broadway home, and traveling when possible. They open their home to international students learning English (Philip even directed a Japanese choir!) and have enjoyed hosting and sharing Winnipeg life and family time with 25 overseas students since 2014. Philip is thankful to his parents for the piano lessons in his early years and the continued support through life’s musical journeys.


Scott Leithead (Edmonton, AB)

Scott Leithead

Scott is the founder and Artistic Director of Canada's Kokopelli Choir Association and TIME Association from Edmonton, Alberta. He has been invited to conduct provincial, national and state honour choirs on twenty-five occasions and he has presented workshops in North America and beyond. Notable appearances include: conducting the Alberta Youth Choir for the Alberta Choral Federation’s 40th Anniversary; conducting the 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Ellison Canadian Honour Choir; conducting the 2016 ACDA NW Regional Youth Choir in Seattle.  He has adjudicated both the ACCC National Competition for Amateur Canadian Choirs, the Kathaumixw International Choir Festival (2014 and 2016) and Finland’s Tampere Choir Festival in 2017.  Under his direction, Kokopelli was a winner of both the 2015 CBC National Competition for Canadian Amateur Choirs and the 2015 and 2016 Canadian National Music Competition.
Scott has a passion for music from southern Africa and he has been invited to work with choirs in South Africa and Namibia on numerous occasions. In 2008/09, Scott was on sabbatical in Namibia where he worked with the Mascato Youth Choir and many other choirs in southern Africa. Scott’s passion for innovative and unique choral music experiences has shaped the direction of the Kokopelli Choir Association.
Scott is a longtime member of the advisory committee for the Canadian Rocky Mountain Music Festival and the Cantando Festivals. He is a board member of  the National Youth Music and Art Development Foundation of South Africa.