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Opening the door to music

Among many other projects, Lesley Sutherland is choral director at St. David’s

Tsawwassen’s Lesley Sutherland has a lot on the go.

The composer, conductor, writer and producer is the choral director of the St. David’s community and parish choirs. She also founded wonderchoir, a children’s choir, through Delta Parks, Recreation and Culture.

Sutherland co-owns a sound studio (Fresh Air Audio in Vancouver) and performs as a singer/songwriter as well.

“I never have the same day in a week, ever,” she says.

You have to be very organized and have a handle on the details with so many projects on the go, she adds.

“It is a lot of juggling. But it’s all things I’m extremely interested in and that are extremely important to me. I don’t find it hard to be motivated.”

Sutherland, who has been working in the TV and film industry for the past two decades composing musical scores, has a degree in composition, something she’s been doing since she was a little kid.

“My first love was composition - writing music.”

Sutherland also co-created a CBC preschool TV series, See the Sea. She’s got two shows in development she’s trying to pitch.

She started working as a choir director in her 20s and makes a point of making rehearsals fun.

“I’m not a very serious choir director. My whole aim is, basically, I consider myself the doorway into music. If I can introduce somebody to music and open that door, whether it be a six-year-old or an 80-year-old, it’s a huge privilege,” she says. “Just to open that door to people is huge.”

While music can be scary, she maintains everyone can sing.

“I think that it’s tremendously freeing to sing. I think it’s a natural response to life. I think it’s a way to reach your soul, reach a deeper part of yourself.”

Sutherland, who grew up on the North Shore and previously lived in Vancouver, has a husband and three daughters.

She notes the St. David’s Community Choir is always accepting new members and that no experience is necessary, just a love of music and a sense of humour are required. Rehearsals take place Thursdays from 8 to 9:30 p.m. at the church, 1115-51A St., Tsawwassen. St. David’s is an energizing place to work, she says, describing it as a forward-thinking and community-minded church led by the Rev. Paul Woehrle.

Her children’s choir starts again in September. Registration is done through Delta parks and rec.