Voices for the Salish Sea. (Photo submitted)

Celebrating the Salish Sea through story & song

The 2019-2020 season of Creston Concert Society kicks off on Oct. 4 with Voices for the Salish Sea, at 7:30 p.m. at the Prince Charles Theatre.

Drawn together by a deep, abiding love for their home, members of Pacific Canadian muso-historians Tiller’s Folly (Bruce Coughlan, Nolan Murray and Laurence Knight) and eco-folk rockers The Wilds (Holly Arntzen and Kevin Wright) have joined forces in a celebration of songs and stories about the Salish Sea, it’s beauty, history, ecology and culture.

Two things that singer/songwriter Holly Arntzen (vocals, dulcimer and piano) is passionate about are music and her love of the natural world; they are intricately entwined as Holly continues her life-long mission to educate and change the hearts of people about our environment and the planet’s future.

Holly’s determination to bring the message of environmental sustainability to the world is unwavering. Working in collaboration for many years with her late husband and producer, Stephen Foster, and today with a group of talented musicians and artists, she creates songs of innocence that carry a much deeper relevance.

Bruce Coughlan (vocals, acoustic guitar) began his musical career busking on Vancouver street corners at the age of 13. He recorded his first record in 1984, and since has recorded 14 albums of original and adapted traditional music across a broad range of the roots music genre. Many of Bruce’s songs have been recorded by some of the most legendary names in acoustic music.

Bruce is possibly best recognized for his historically-based ballads, written on Pacific Canadian themes and recorded by Tiller’s Folly, who in 2015 released Stirring Up Ghosts, a cd collection of 24 historically-based songs.

Laurence Knight (electric bass, vocals) is a fifty-year veteran of Western Canada’s vibrant music scene who’s first love is Rhythm and Blues. Early in his career, Laurence earned a solid reputation in Vancouver’s blues music community, touring and recording with the Foreman Young Band, Jim Byrnes and the legendary Long John Baldry, just to mention a few.

In a shift from R and B to folk music Laurence once again found his stride while performing and recording with many of the west’s most iconic artists, including Roy Forbes, Shari Ulrich and Ferron.

Laurence is an expressive bassist and energetic performer who adds his soulful, rhythmic signature to all he touches. When not performing, Laurence spends much of his time producing jazz/roots albums.

Nolan Murray (electric bass, vocals) has a long history as a multi-instrumentalist who at an early age, parlayed an impressive list of championships into a touring/recording career that has spanned decades.

Throughout that time, he’s left his musical imprint with a long list of iconic performers including Loretta Lynn, Brenda Lee, John Fogerty ,The Irish Rovers, Randy Travis, John Cowan, Ricky Van Shelton, David Frizzell, Patricia Conroy, Gary Fjellgaard, Jess Lee, Funk Brother’s Bob Babbitt, and Wrecking Crew’s Larry Knechtel.

Kevin Wright (electric bass, vocals) has spent the majority of his musical life singing in rock bands. With a microphone plugged into a little red record player he’d throw concerts in his back yard at the age of 9. KISS concerts were regular fare, tennis rackets for guitars, white 5-gallon buckets for drums. It served to light the spark that still burns bright today.

In 2004 Kevin met Stephen Foster and Holly Arntzen who were shopping a Voices of Nature radio program. It was a life-defining moment when the three joined forces and began Voices of Nature School Music programs. After Stephen’s sudden death, Holly and Kevin continued the work he had begun. The work which they continue to this day.

The Voices for The Salish Sea believe in engaging communities through choirs and schools; this project provides choral arrangements in advance so that community and youth choirs can join in the joy and fun of performing in the concert. The Mormon Hills School Choir will appear with Voices for The Salish Sea as special guests at both a student concert on Friday afternoon and the evening performance. This talented choir is comprised of about 40 voices, under the direction of Peter Blackmore. They have been rehearsing for the last few weeks and will join the band for the songs Where the Coho Flash Silver, and The Watershed Song, amongst others.

Advance tickets for Voices for the Salish Sea available at Black Bear Books, Kingfisher Books and Fly in the Fibre.

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