Barry DeSilva – Music Director
Barry’s maternal grandfather was the Regimental Bandmaster for the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, and a Choral Conductor. As such, in the family it was tradition for all the grandchildren to get piano lessons from the age of 6.
In addition to studying the piano, Barry was a boy soprano who grew up in Pontefract, Yorkshire, under the auspices of two very accomplished Church Musicians – Andrew Seivewright, later Master of Music at Carlisle Cathedral for 30 years, and Michael Smith, himself an accomplished organist and choir director who taught Barry composition. Through them, he developed a love of choral singing and of church music generally. As a young man, he played on an occasional basis in several churches in England, before emigrating with his family to Canada.
In 1985 Barry became Organist and Choir Director of St. John the Divine in Maple Ridge, a position he held for over 15 years. He also served as a musician and as choir director at St. Paul’s Lutheran, Maple Ridge for several years.
In 1988 he also created, accompanied and directed a family of four community choirs for adults and children. Incorporating conventional and modern choral singing, as well as Jazz, these choirs would donate concerts to local community groups and schools that were fund raising. In 20 years of directing these choirs, $100,000 was donated to local causes.
In 1998, for the BC Summer Games in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, Barry put together, accompanied and directed a 100 voice choir for the opening ceremonies. The music performed included a choral arrangement Barry wrote of ‘O, Canada’ which the choir also performed that summer at centre field of BC Place for the Lions – Argonauts game.
As a result of this community engagement, in 2008 Barry was awarded the Herbert Kent Award for Services to Choral Music by the BC Choral Federation. Over the years, there were several other awards and recognitions from the Province of BC and the Municipality of Maple Ridge.
While living in Florida for several years, he participated in Ecumenical Services in Florida. Then, after 5 years’ service at St. Peter Quamichan on Vancouver Island, Barry and his wife Paulette moved to Ontario in July of 2022 to settle in Wasaga Beach. After being a guest musician at All Saints on several occasions, Barry was appointed Music Director in October of 2022.