West Coast Symphony Orchestra veteran Jim DeFina has died
The West Coast Symphony Orchestra is mourning the loss of Jim DeFina, a prominent and long-time member of the nonprofit classical music group.
DeFina, the orchestra’s principal clarinetist and a board member, passed away on August 6 after battling cancer. He was 72.
Nicholas Urquhart, president of the West Coast Symphony Orchestra, described DeFina as hardworking, supportive, and passionate about the non-professional musical group.
DeFina had been a member of the Vancouver-area organization for decades, serving over the years in the roles of musician, musical programmer, and president.
“I can tell you that there’s probably no one in the orchestra who cared more about the quality of the product that we were putting out there,” Urquhart told the Straight.
Urquhart said DeFina’s warmth and integrity set a great example for other members of the orchestra.
“If they can be like Jim in the way they approach music and approach life, they’re going to be successful in both things,” Urquhart said.
DeFina, a husband and father, also took part in the West Coast Symphony Orchestra’s musical tour of the Balkans in July.
A memorial is being planned for later this month.