Langley Community Music School
Langley Community Music School. Teaching institution opened 1969 in Langley, BC, giving classes in Orff, Suzuki and Kodály, and private instruction in most instruments as well as theory.
The Langley Community Music School opened in 1969 in the Langley (BC) Arts Centre, a location that enabled young players to 'learn about music in a musical environment.' Its founders and the builders of the Arts Centre were Marilyn Lamont, Linda Bickerton-Ross, Leonard Woods, Peter Ewart, and Keith Lamont. Interest in the program and student enrolment grew quickly. In December 1972 a constitution was drawn up setting out non-profit status and the school was incorporated as a non-profit society. For the younger students, the Suzuki, Kodály, and Orff approaches were offered along with more traditional methods (for more advanced pupils) leading to graded Royal Conservatory of Music exams. Funding during this period came from the Spencer, Koerner, and Vancouver Foundations and the Canada Council, and a part-time administrator was hired.
In 1975, with an enrolment of 260 students, a portable building provided needed additional space. The school was supported by fees and (beginning in 1977) by a grant from the BC Ministry of Tourism, Recreation and Culture. In 1979 Ian Hampton was appointed music director on a part-time basis; he became principal in 1989. In 1981 a third building - a former Christian Science church - was obtained with assistance from the Vancouver Foundation, BC Lottery Fund, and private businesses and donors. All the buildings were given as debt-free property to the City of Langley, which provides the land, utilities, and maintenance in return. In 1983 an endowment fund for scholarships and bursaries was set up and is administered by the Vancouver Foundation.
In 1990 the school had over 700 students, 32 faculty members, and an office staff of 3. By 2005, its enrollment was over 800 students.
Philosophy and Program
The school's goal is to offer a consistently high standard of music education and to enhance community cultural development. The school offers classes in Orff, Suzuki, and Kodály methods and lessons in piano, woodwind, brass, stringed instruments, harp, guitar, voice, theory, harmony, counterpoint, and analysis. There was also a comprehensive program of student and faculty concerts and workshops. Biannually, with the Vancouver Academy of Music, the school organizes a Suzuki Institute at Trinity Western University in Langley. It actively supports the performance of Canadian music and offers a prize in composition at its festival each February. The third largest of the province's community music schools (after the Vancouver Academy of Music and the Victoria Conservatory), it is a member of the BC Association of Community Music Schools.
Current and former students achieve international success. Susan Tang won the Eastman Concerto Competition and performed Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra. Susan Magnusson (M MUS Eastman) entered the DMA program at the Manhattan School of Music with a full scholarship. In 1983, the Langley School established an endowment fund for bursaries and scholarships.