This performance of the “Lake” variation from Patrick Hawes’ work “The Blue Bird Variations” was made by 72 Langley Fine Arts School students, recorded from their homes while isolating in response to the COVID-19 crisis. (Screenshot)

VIDEO: Seventy-two Langley Fine Arts students record collaboration on their cellphones

Musicians performed Lake from Patrick Hawes’ work The Blue Bird Variations

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Langley Fine Arts School’s music program had to cancel its year-end concert scheduled for June 3 at the Chan Centre.

Nico Stephenson, an orchestra music teacher at the school, said a video and audio compilation served as the final concert instead.

“Even though we were pretty gutted to miss this special opportunity to share what the students have done, they have come together and recorded a short piece that would have been on the program,” Stephenson noted.

The recording combines 72 different Langley Fine Arts students from grades eight to 12, all recorded on their cellphones, in what Stephenson calls the only youth orchestra and chorus isolation collaboration performance.

In it, the students perform the “Lake” variation from Patrick Hawes’ work “The Blue Bird Variations.”

Holly Ten Haaf, a grade 12 fine arts students, said nothing will ever really replace or come close to the connection experienced throughout rehearsals.

“While its sad to lose that, we have been given the opportunity to connect with ourselves and explore our own musical interests and independence,” she elaborated.

Ten Haaf will be majoring in vocal performance at UBC in the fall in hopes of preparing herself for a career in music.

“Right now I’m focused on pursuing what inspires me on the daily,” she added. “Hopefully when the time comes to really create a career it will be performance based but I’m not opposed to music education as another possible route for me.”

READ MORE: VIDEO: Langley Community Music School Fiddlers release series of video recordings

Stephanie Laird, another fine arts grade 12 student called the recording process a learning curve.

“Figuring out how to practice and record with the click track was an interesting process, and it took me two devices and about 10 takes for all the tech to run smoothly,” Laird explained.

“The funniest part was seeing my family’s reactions as I ran downstairs to grab my headphones in eyeliner and concert blacks after months of sweatpants wearing,” she added.

Stephenson invites everyone to enjoy the Youtube video in lieu of the concert, adding that 10 of the school’s 24 music graduates are pursuing careers as professional musicians.


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