MUSIC: Echoes of Pink Floyd in Surrey, times two

Concert at Surrey Arts Centre to put fundraising spin on album with ‘We don’t need no education’ lyric

Members of the Our Project band rehearse for its “Bringing Down the Wall” concert

SURREY — Pink Floyd fans in Surrey have reason to be excited about a couple of concerts on the local calendar.

First up, the South Surrey-based Bergmann Piano Duo – otherwise known as Marcel and Elizabeth Bergmann – will perform “Wish You Were Here: The Music of Pink Floyd and More for Two Pianos” at Surrey city hall’s Centre Stage theatre on Saturday, Jan. 28. The performance will include renditions of “Money,” “Welcome to the Machine” and “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” along with Mike Oldfield’s “Tubular Bells Part 1,” the intro of which made 1973’s “The Exorcist” even more chilling.

Then, in February, a charity-minded band called Our Project will be “Bringing Down the Wall” in a concert at Surrey Arts Centre.

The show, set for the evening of Saturday, Feb. 18, will feature the music of Pink Floyd’s iconic “The Wall” album, from start to finish, in an effort to raise money for a charity that gives kids the chance to play music themselves.

All proceeds from the event’s $35 ticket will be given to the Sarah McLachlan School of Music, a Vancouver-based organization that announced an expansion into Surrey in the fall of 2015.

Ironically, the most famous lyric on “The Wall” is probably “We don’t need no education” – just one of the songs to be performed by Our Project, described on its Facebook page as a collective of musicians coming together to raise funds to keep music instruction alive for youth.

“It’s all about charity, and nobody here, all 13 of us, don’t take a cent,” drummer Kevin Western said during rehearsals at Music Makers Studios in Newton last fall.

As project mastermind, Western said the cause is close to his heart.

“Having any musical talent is a gift that should be nurtured in children,” he noted. “If we can hit our goal of $20,000 (raised), it would mean countless hours of tuition over the next year. Many of our cast members have benefited enormously from a musical education, and we’d like to see younger generations get that chance.”

Our Project musicians include keyboardist Bruce Hayne, a Surrey city councillor and former member of the band All About Jack.

“I’m incredibly proud of our hard work in bringing ‘The Wall’ to my city,” Hayne stated. “Everybody involved has gone above and beyond in their efforts to bring the show to life, and we can’t wait for Surrey music fans to be a part of it.”

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At Music Makers’ penthouse studio, the band has rehearsed the music of “The Wall” and also tested props and visuals to be used for the concert at Surrey Arts Centre.

“We practice once a month for a year, with vocal rehearsals on a Friday and full band on Saturday,” explained Western.

“We have a film crew donating time for the Surrey show, with multiple cameras,” he continued. “Bob (Douglas, studio owner) has provided us rehearsal space free of charge as we get ready for our shows. Grimm’s Fine Foods has been providing lunches at every rehearsal (as) part of their community support. And our third major sponsor is Roland, who will be providing incredible video and audio gear for our shows, including a polished ebony digital grand piano.”

Our Project previously toured a show featuring the greatest hits of Alan Parsons Project, raising $7,000 for charity, and “Bringing Down the Wall” will be brought to several venues in the Lower Mainland in 2017, starting in Surrey.

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In addition to Western and Hayne, Our Project involves the volunteer talents of Andy Senko (vocals, sample triggers), Al Tulak (vocals, guitar), Brian Linnitt (sax, breath controller), Craig Michaud (bass), Danny Olsen (vocals, drums, mandolin, guitar, lap steel, tuba), Gerry Babuin (lighting, multimedia), John White (bass, vocals), Mark Glenning (keyboards, digital accordion), Rob Paterson (guitar, vocals), Stephanie Olsen (vocals, clarinet), Terry Raible (vocals, drums, slide steel), Brian Dupas (lighting) and Steve Smith (guitar tech, stagehand).

“All proceeds from the Surrey (Feb. 18) and New Westminster (April 29) shows will be donated to the Sarah Maclachlan School of Music,” Western added. “Proceeds from our Nanaimo show (March 11) will be donated to the music program at Nanaimo District Secondary School.”

As for the Sarah McLachlan School of Music’s activities in Surrey, the organization currently instructs students at Forsyth Road Elementary two days a week – 20 students per day, for a total of 40.

The plan is to eventually secure a permanent and independent site in Surrey, said Rob Appleton, the school’s executive director.

“We’re in Surrey for the long haul,” Appleton told the Now. “Right now we’re focused on a project in Edmonton, and we’re working hard there, and after that is done I’ll be in Surrey kicking some tires and hopefully getting a site up and running there. It’s about finding the right spot, in the North Surrey area, close to Forsyth, because we want to be there.”

For tickets to “Bringing Down the Wall” in Surrey, call 604-501-5566 or visit Tickets.surrey.ca.

tom.zillich@thenownewspaper.com

 

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