West My Friend performs at the Langley Community Music School on Sunday, Oct. 20. Prior to the band’s performance the trio, Jeff Poynter, Eden Oliver and Alex Rempel sat down for a Q&A with the school’s artistic director, Elizabeth Bergmann. (Joti Grewal/Black Press Media)

Alumni return to Langley Community Music School with ‘fresh’ sound

West My Friend is celebrating its 10th anniversary as a band

Langley Community Music School (LCMS) alumni were at their alma mater charming the audience on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Alex Rempel and Jeff Poynter, returned with Eden Oliver to play at the school as part of the Concerts Cafe Classico series.

Their band, West My Friend features an acoustic blend of guitar, played by Oliver; mandolin, played by Rempel; accordion, played by Poynter; and three-part harmonies.

Their afternoon performance was lead by a Q&A where the school’s artistic director, Elizabeth Bergmann, sat down with the trio to delve into the inspiration behind their music.

“They describe themselves as being an indie folk, chamber, baroque with some phonetic attributes,” said Bergmann. “They have a very fresh take on their sound.”

During the intimate sit-down interview the trio revealed the songs they perform are mainly written by Oliver who writes as a means to navigate life, according to Bergmann.

The trio all come have a classical music background from the University of Victoria where they met. Now after 10 years of performing together they released their fourth album In Constellation in September.

The band performs about 90 concerts a year. Their tour kicks off Nov. 5 in Oregon, but the trio will return to Langley on Nov. 21 to perform at the United Churches of Langley in Murrayville.

READ MORE: Langley artists lead B.C. Country Music Award nominations

LCMS is celebrating its 50th season anniversary this year and has hosted many former students throughout the year.

“It’s been really great to see how people have developed,” said Bergmann.

Next month the school will host a Canadian festival on Nov. 16.

“We celebrate Canadian music here at Langley Community Music School by having commissioned a lot of new works for artists and students, so part of that celebration of Canadian music is a Canadian music festival in which our present students play Canadian pieces,” Bergmann explained.

The following day, Nov. 17, the school will host alumnus Paul Hung who plays flute accompanied by Bogdan Dulu on the piano. Their work will premiere a composition by former faculty member Leslie Janos, among others.

Finally, on Nov. 23 the school will conclude their 50th anniversary season with a Canadian Celebration that will feature The Turning Point Ensemble, Borealis String Quartet and the Bergmann Duo. The event will also premier a new LCMS commission by alumnus Brad Turner as well as the jazz-inspired “Concerto for Two Pianos” by Marcel Bergmann.

“It’s going to be a big huge celebration of Canadian music featuring some of the commission we’ve done over the years…” said Bergmann.

For more information about shows and to purchase tickets visit www.langleymusic.com


@JotiGrewal_
joti.grewal@blackpress.ca

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