Alumnus trio perform at Langley music school on Mother’s Day

The school hosts its Cafe Classico concert Sunday and a series of free end-of-year events next week.

Roland Gjernes, cellist

Langley Community Music School (LCMS) welcomes back three alumni to their Café Classico concert series happening this Sunday, May 14 at 2:30 p.m.

“Listen to some amazing home-grown talent and learn more about the road to achieving success as a professional musician at this concert, with coffee and commentary,” said LCMS artistic director Elizabeth Bergmann.

“We are thrilled to be welcoming back these accomplished young alumni to our concert stage,” she added, referring to cellist Roland Gjernes, pianist Paul Williamson, and pianist Derek Stanyer.

Stanyer, Gjernes, and Williamson are all accomplished award-winning musicians in their own right, Bergmann said.

Langley native and LCMS alumnus, Stanyer completed his bachelor of music at the University of Victoria, a Masters of Music at the University of Ottawa on full scholarship, and is currently working on a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of British Columbia on a full Doctoral Fellowship.

He has also studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, and the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris.

Stanyer has won numerous awards and prizes, including the national Knigge Piano Competition and top prize in the international Johann Strauss Competition. He has performed extensively both as a soloist and as a collaborative pianist throughout Canada, France, Belgium, Austria, U.S.A., and Mexico.

In addition to his talents as a pianist, Stanyer has worked as a vocal coach for the UBC summer opera program, and was a member of the Vancouver International Song Institute, Bergmann explained.

Gjernes was raised in White Rock and is an alumnus of the Langley Community Music School, as well as a baccalaureate of the University of Ottawa, and is currently completing his master’s degree in New York at the Manhattan School of Music.

An award-winning musician, Gjernes has earned the Sharon Stevenson Career Development Scholarship and Dayton Family Award from Langley Community Music School, the gold medal for 10 consecutive years from the South Fraser Registered Music Teachers’ Festival in BC, and the 2015 National Youth Orchestra of Canada Award of Excellence.

He has performed as principal cellist with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, and has appeared as a soloist with the University of Ottawa Orchestra, the Manhattan School of Music Wind Ensemble, the Fraser Valley Symphony, and the Semiahmoo Strings.

Williamson is also a LCMS alumnus and is currently in the second year of his bachelors at the University of Manitoba.

In addition to winning the prestigious LCMS Sharon Stevenson scholarship, Paul is an award winner at multiple local, provincial, and national competitions, including first place awards in the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals’ National Music Festival, the BC Registered Music Teachers’ Association Piano Competition, and the Lawrence Genser Scholarship Competition.

He also won the University of Manitoba’s annual concerto competition and was showcased in the BC Young Artists Tour.

Williams has performed as a soloist with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the University of Manitoba Symphony Orchestra, the Abbotsford Youth Orchestra, and the Fraser Valley Symphony Orchestra. He also participates in several outreach programs and plans continue his studies in graduate school.

“Paul is on a tremendously exciting trajectory,” said his former music teacher Betty Suderman. “He’s a prodigious talent, an enormous technique, and a musical soul.”

This trio’s concert will begin with the pre-concert talk, hosted by LCMS senior programs coordinator Joel Stobbe, and followed by the concert at 3:30 p.m.

Tickets are $18/adults, $15/seniors, and $10/students from 604-534-2848 or at langleymusic.com. The Rose Gellert Hall is located at 4899 207th St.

There are also a number of free year-end concerts happening this week.

Still to come this week, the LCMS Jazz Ensemble perform Monday, May 15 at 7:30 p.m., the school’s children’s choir perform Tuesday, May 16, at 7 p.m.; and the LCMS Fiddlers are on stage Wednesday, May 17, at 7 p.m.

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Derek Stanyer, pianist

Paul Williamson, pianist

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