Briercrest musician putting her musical talents to good use
Music at Briercrest isn’t a competition, it’s a group experience.
Briercrest College has been home to many musical acts over its history and they have released albums, such as Sweetsalt, Elevate and most notably, Downhere. This year, another act joined the fold.
Lana Winterhalt has been writing and performing music for 15 years, teaching herself guitar from watching videos online at age 14. Winterhalt saw something at Briercrest that she knew would grow her talents as a musician.
“Briercrest is a petri dish for musicians, and people get disgusted when I say that because petri dishes grow bacteria,”explained Winterhalt. “But it is a small space that is just swarming with talent, and grows musicians so quickly.”
Winterhalt saw significant talent at Briercrest, and wanted to experience as much as she could.
“I have never met so many musical people in my life,” smiled Winterhalt. “It seems like everyone plays something or has an amazing voice, so collaborating and jamming have been some of my most incredible memories here.”
Winterhalt had a chance to record her own original music this year with a friend, who is also Briercrest alumni, and she jumped at the opportunity. Her life experience is what fuelled her to write very “real” songs.
“The music I write isn’t explicitly ‘Christian,’ but it communicates the deep, authentic things that people don’t often think about,”explained Winterhalt. “Loneliness is real, break-ups are real, forgiveness is real, God is real, and by writing music about these experiences I see a glimpse of how the kingdom is really here on earth, and attempt to bring others into that reality with me as well.”
Once the EP was recorded and the final touches had been put into place, Winterhalt wanted to share the music in more ways than one. She knew that she wanted to play her original music live for her friends and supporters. For that, she needed a band to back her up. Thankfully, for Winterhalt, she was in the right place.
Winterhalt pulled all of her band members from her Briercrest circle, and everyone in the band is a current student or alumni of the school. She claims that her musicians are “wizards”at their instruments and that the band gelled very quickly.
“We had two practices before the release show, which just points to how good of musicians these people all are,”said Winterhalt.
If nothing else, Winterhalt sees music as a form of art that can bring people together.
“Music is definitely a bonding agent for students at Briercrest. To me there is nothing more beautiful than singing music as a congregation to our Lord…a bunch of young people, enjoying each other’s presence and good music, partying and celebrating life and gifts from God. It’s too sweet.”