Lyall McDermott – Director of Music
Born in Hobart, Tasmania, Lyall began playing piano and violin from an early age. At the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music, he studied violin and viola with Jan Sedivka and piano with Beryl Sedivka. He graduated in 1974, having majored in Performance and Education. The following year, Lyall commenced a career with the Tasmanian Department of Education that spanned almost 40 years, working variously as a classroom music teacher, a music consultant, a specialist instrumental music teacher and as a band director.
Active in the local music scene over many years, Lyall has played in cabaret bands, big bands, and rock bands, including the acclaimed ‘Fern Chutney’. For ten years he was a recording engineer at Red Planet Studios, during which time, in collaboration with Stewart Long, he wrote a considerable body of music for the ABC TV Education Unit. Stewart and Lyall also composed soundtracks to several documentary series for American cable television, including the award-winning ‘Frontiers of Flight’, a joint venture by the Discovery Channel and the Smithsonian Institute. Lyall is a published composer of ensemble and concert band pieces, written especially for use in schools.
Lyall joined the Derwent Valley Concert Band as a baritone saxophone player in 1999. He was appointed Assistant Conductor of the Band in 2009, and has been its Chief Conductor since 2010. Lyall was awarded Life Membership of the DVCB in 2015, and appointed Director of Music in 2021.