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Music Library Resources: Reginald Mills Silby Collection

Reginald Mills Silby

(Photo credit: Archdiocese of Philadelphia)

Accessing the Collection

Reginald Mills Silby Collection

The Reginald Mills Silby Collection is a small donation of sacred music materials focusing on the career of organist and choirmaster, R.M. Silby.  "Throughout his career, Silby was committed to teaching children and among his young students was composer and Duquesne University professor Joseph Wilcox Jenkins, who studied organ with Silby as a child in Philadelphia, and who took particular delight in Silby's organ improvisations." (Quoted from the conference paper by Kevin Vogt, Reginald Mills Silby: The Westminster Connection).

Both the Silby and Jenkins collections are housed in the University Archives as part of the Duquesne University Sacred Music Collection.

Reginald Mills Silby was born March 8, 1884 in London, England.  He attended Brompton Oratory in London for his primary and secondary education.  Between 1903-1909 he served as assistant organist and choirmaster at the newly opened Westminster Cathedral in London under the direction of Sir Richard Terry.  In 1909 Silby traveled to the United States to further his musical career. He became organist and choirmaster at St. Patrick's Church in Washington D.C. and served there until 1916. From 1919-1925 he was organist and choirmaster at the Cathedral in Omaha, Nebraska. For ten years, 1925-1935, he served as organist and choirmaster at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia.  He held his final position as organist and choirmaster at St. Ignatius Church on Park Avenue in New York City from 1935 until his death on January 13, 1954.

Links for further reading

Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, Philadelphia, Pa.


Contact Us

If you have any questions or would like to see the collections in person, please feel free to contact us.

Terra Merkey, Music Librarian
Phone: 412-396-1542

Thomas White, University Archivist and Curator of Special Collections
Phone: 412-396-4870