Musical Director

Peter McBride

Born in Victoria, at St. Joes Hospital (anyone remember that?), Peter moved to Vancouver as a child. He attended school there, leaving the Fraser Valley for chilly Edmonton in 1977, where he first experienced Barbershop. A quartet singing on the back of a flat bed truck on downtown Jasper Avenue during Klondike Days left a deep and permanent impression. How the heck does he make those high notes? And who is singing what part? That's pretty cool!

Peter returned to Victoria in 1984, and worked in various roles including brake mechanic and accountant (at Vantreight Farms. Anyone remember that?) But time and fortune, and love, led him back to the Lower Mainland. It was in 1992 that he rediscovered Barbershop, singing with the Vancouver Thunderbirds for 18 years. Peter held most administrative roles (except treasurer), and had his first contact with directing. When they lost their Director, Peter directed the TBirds for a bit over a year, leading them in public performances and one Division competition. When the TBirds found a permanent director, Peter acted as assistant director, and led the chorus in many public performances.

Peter took a rest from Barbershop in 2011, but when business took him to Calgary for a 16 month contract, he started up again, joining the Western Hospitality Singers under the late GREAT Randy Peters, a personal friend and hero/mentor. Randy inspired Peter to pursue not only excellence, but to use service, positivity and encouragement as the basis for good chorus leadership. WHS sponsored Peter to attend Harmony University in St Josephs MO. USA in 2012, a singular and transformative experience. (Coincidence? Born as St Joes, reborn at St Joes?)

Upon returning to BC, Peter joined the Mt Baker Toppers, who met only 20 minutes south of his home in  South Surrey BC. Their Director, Doug Broersma, EVG Champ and master performer, had also adopted a service model for leadership, and further supported and encouraged Peter in his directing career. Denny Stiers was still alive then, and coached Peter on many occasions.

Another job change brought Peter to Victoria in October of 2016. Peter visited the Victoria Village Squires (now known as South Island Harmony) in January 2017 and was immediately struck by the energy, fun, positivity and willingness to grow that the men demonstrated. He was invited to lead a warm-up one night - and the rest is history.

Peter sings with the Squares Quartet Singers Association, and has competed (and medaled twice!) in Divisions across Evergreen District. He has attended HCNW multiple times, and is driven to learn and grow in his singing, directing and leadership skills.

"I have learned  a lot about what to not do, as well as what to do, how to motivate and inspire our singers...lessons learned from some of the best barbershoppers in the Northwest. I continue to learn from the singers of South Island Harmony. Thank you for this opportunity!"