String theory

Dave Callander is taking what he learned in Hollywood and sharing it with his guitar students here
in Langley.

Dave Callander is taking what he learned in Hollywood and sharing it with his guitar students here  in Langley.

Dave Callander is taking what he learned in Hollywood and sharing it with his guitar students here in Langley.

Sylvia Moore

Times Contributor

A young boy gets an electric guitar for this 14th birthday, then his dad takes him to his first concert: Van Halen.

He collects another guitar on his 16th birthday, and soon sets his sights on playing guitar professionally.

The young man is Langley’s Dave Callander, and he’s been playing his guitar non-stop for the past six years.

Callander started by taking lessons with Brian Poulsen, a respected musician who passed on his own unfulfilled wish to attend one of North America’s most prestigious music schools — the Musician’s Institute in Hollywood, Calif. Poulsen recommended his student for M.I., and Callander submitted his demos.

Before he graduated from Langley Secondary School, Callander knew he was heading to Hollywood to study the M.I. Guitar Performance program and earn his Associate of Arts diploma.

Callander moved into a green and blue apartment building in the core of Hollywood, just two blocks from the famous Roosevelt Hotel and one block from Grauman’s Chinese Theater.

From his balcony he could hear audience noises from the El Capitan Theatre where the Jimmy Kimmel show is taped.

“The movie premieres at Grauman’s Theater were cool in the beginning, but then they got to be annoying,” he said.

“Hollywood Boulevard was flooded with tourists and media, sidewalks were roped off, and I had to cut through back alleys to get to school.”

Callander described his two years at Musician’s Institute as the “most incredible time of my life”.

He developed from a classical rock guitarist, to embracing jazz and jazz fusion styles under such revered names as Paul Gilbert and Al Bonhomme, who toured with Dwight Yoakam. Callander got his favorite guitar, a Parker Fly, while he was in L.A., for his 19th birthday.

Callander’s former teacher, Brian Poulsen, says that Callander was passionate about music, guitar in particular, and smart.

He thought it was a great idea for his student to engage in the M.I. musical experience in L.A., the entertainment capital of the world.

He believes the M.I. experience is of great value and offers its students a sense of music business, so they can find out whether it’s a good fit.

Now back in Langley, Callander teaches guitar at RJP Guitar Studios, at 56 Avenue and 203 Street, under the mentorship of Ray Pullen, a veteran of the Vancouver guitar scene. He still practices six hours per day to perfect his craft.

His current guitar hero is Miles Davis. Callander pictures himself in the future, playing guitar in a recording studio as a professional studio musician, “an Olympian of the music industry.”

Callander recently played a couple of open mike sessions at the Wired Monk in Murrayville, however these days he’s focused on teaching.

Callander’s website is under development. It can be viewed at www.davecallander.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Donations to the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation this month are being matched – up to $75,000 – by an anonymous donor. (Langley Advance Times files)
Anonymous giver doubles donations to Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation

This month, donations will be matched up to $75,000

Surrey Little Theatre is located on 184th Street at Fraser Highway. (File photo: Tom Zillich)
Surrey Little Theatre, Langley Players look to merge as single company at 200th Street theatre

A ‘really exciting’ development for the volunteer-run theatre companies

Architectural renderings show the proposed housing development on 66th Avenue in Langley Township. (Compass Cohousing/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Langley cohousing plans closer to reality

The 40-unit project would be the second cohousing development in Langley

Jonas Van Huizen is seen playing for the Langley Christian Lightning during the January 2018 Lightning Classic junior boys basketball tournament at LCS (Langley Advance Times file)
Top-ranked volleyball player returns home to Langley to play for UFV

Isolated in a Kamloops dorm because of the pandemic, Jonas Van Huizen decided to transfer

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

B.C.’s largest COVID-19 care-home outbreak records 19 deaths, 147 cases

Tabor Home in Abbotsford has been battling outbreak since Nov. 4

A criminal trial for Robert Boule (inset), the owner of the Smuggler’s Inn, is to begin in August 2021, following a failed application to strike down immigration-act provisions that he is charged under. (Photo courtesy of The Northern Light newspaper)
Charter challenge quashed in case of U.S. man accused of human smuggling at his inn

Robert Boule’s criminal trial set to begin August 2021

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Ash and Lisa Van carry a freshly cut Christmas tree while wearing personal protective masks at a Christmas Tree Farm in Egbert, Ontario, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Cole Burston
‘Everyone wants a tree and they want it now’: Christmas tree sales on pace for record

Anticipated demand for Christmas trees has sparked a rush by some to purchase more trees wholesale

Business groups have been advocating for years that local approvals for construction in B.C. are too long and restricted, and that B.C.’s outdates sales tax deter business investment. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents worried about COVID-19 deficit, business survey finds

Respondents support faster local approvals, value added tax

The first of two earthquakes near Alaska on the morning of Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, is shown in blue. (USGS)
No tsunami risk after two earthquakes near Alaska

Both earthquakes hit near the U.S. state on Dec. 1

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

Most Read