‘Longevity doesn’t just happen all the time’

Langley Community Music School celebrates half-a-century with Rose Gellert Hall Series Gala

Langley Community Music School (LCMS) is continuing a year-long 50th anniversary celebration with two final concerts this fall.

The Rose Gellert Hall Series will begin with a Gala Alumni Concert on Saturday, Oct. 5, featuring four differing and distinct repertoires from LCMS alumni.

Pianist David Ko and violinist Sarah Yang, from Europe, will be joined by cellist Kitty Chan, from Ottawa, and soprano Anne-Marie MacIntosh, from Toronto.

Each will present solo performances and will also collaborate to perform duo and trio repertoires; the finale will see them all come together to perform an opera aria.

Artistic Director of Concerts, Elizabeth Bergmann, said the music will range greatly throughout the 90-minute evening.

“It will be a mix…a real potpourri with Schubert and very virtuosic things…all together, there will be about 50 different pieces performed,” Bergmann said. “We’re very pleased to be in contact with former students – making music together is what it’s all about.

A silent auction will also take place at the gala, with proceeds going towards the LCMS Legacy Endowment Fund – an initiative announced earlier this year to coincide and celebrate 50 years while encouraging new programs in the future.

Items up for bid range from Downtown Langley dollars, local lamb meat, a House Concert by Rose Gellert String Quartet, a House of Marley “Bag of Riddim,” and a Bradley 6-Rack Digital Smoker.

Bergmann said this series, endowment fund, and continuous offering of musical classes are all owed to Langley’s enthusiasm for the school for the past half-century.

“Longevity doesn’t just happen all the time, but there is no shortage of ideas and enthusiasm here,” Bergmann explained. “It’s an organization that is healthy from the inside, aided by the fact we are in an enviable situation that has support from the community.”

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LCMS officially opened its doors in 1969 to 28 students. Since then, the facility has become home to more than 900 students and more than 50 teachers – boasting a list of award winning alumni and faculty members.

Sold out anniversary concerts this past January featured pianist Jon Kimura Parker and his wife Aloysia Friedmann, LCMS alumna’s Susan Tan, jazz pianist Renee Rosnes, and Bill Charlap, plus the LCMS and Surrey Senior Youth Orchestras, and Vancouver Bach Choir.

Additionally, a book titled Bringing Music to Life: Celebrating Fifty Years of the Langley Community Music School was released by LCMS principal emeritus Susan Magnusson at the beginning of the year.

Though 2019 was a year for reflection, remembrance, and celebration, Bergmann said LCMS is always looking ahead and what they can do to grow and improve.

“LCMS is a grassroots organization all about the community – and the community certainly came together for [them], which allowed the school to blossom overtime. Now we have everything from babies and toddlers to seniors programs. We’re really expanding and not just with classical – all kinds if music including pop and guitar,” Bergmann added.

Tickets for the Rose Gellert Hall Series gala concert are available at www.langleymusic.com. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. inside LCMS, 4899 207 St.

The second in the series and final anniversary concert of the year will be a celebration of Canadian works on November 23.

The Turning Point Ensemble, Borealis String Quartet and the Bergmann Duo will feature works commissioned by LCMS throughout its past 50 years.

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Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

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