The Langley Community Music School was a realization of a concept held by founders Marilyn Lamont, Linda Bickerton-Ross, Leonard Woods, Peter Ewart and Dr. Keith Lamont to develop an arts centre for Langley that would enable students “to learn music in a musical environment,” rather than in the isolation of private home studios.
In 1969, the school opened its doors to 28 young musicians. The building was financed and built by Dr. Lamont and Peter Ewart and gifted to the City of Langley. In return, the City provided the land lease, utilities and maintenance of the building and the Langley Arts Council furnished the interior and undertook to manage the facility.
In 1972, the school was formally established as a non-profit society. The small school building was soon at capacity. In 1975, the space problem was temporarily solved by moving a portable building, the work of senior Industrial Arts students at Langley Secondary School, to the school site. Financial assistance from the Spencer, Koerner and Vancouver Foundations were critical in these early years. An exploratory grant from Canada Council provided the first salaried administrator in the mid-1970s.
By the 1980s the school was again running out of space, and in 1981 the school received a gift from the Shell Oil Company of the Christian Science Church building, which had to be removed from their site. With funds from the Vancouver Foundation, BC Lottery Fund, the business community and private individuals, the “Auditorium” became the third building of the Langley Community Music School, and was gifted to the City of Langley debt free. In 1983, an endowment fund was established for scholarships and bursaries, administered by the Vancouver Foundation.
Space was an ongoing concern, and a new vision for a larger space began to emerge. The school embarked on a successful capital campaign under the leadership of Tom Scottnicki and Aubrey Searle. The new 19,000 sq. ft. facility opened in 2001, in the same City Park location as the original school buildings.
The facility is also home to Rose Gellert Hall, an intimate 250 seat concert venue. The Rose Gellert Hall and Concerts Café Classico series were established by the school to enhance our educational programs and provide cultural enrichment to the community. These concerts bring exceptional Canadian and international artists and well-known local musicians to the school annually. LCMS faculty members are frequently featured in concert.
Langley Community Music School has a long tradition of excellence in music education. The school has educated and developed some of Canada’s outstanding musicians, and has earned a reputation as one of the finest schools in the country.