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Will Stroet, an award-winning children’s musician, inspires kids to be active, healthy, creative and engaged in the world through educational music in English and French. Will stars in the preschool television series Will’s Jams airing across Canada on Kids’ CBC weekday mornings at 7:25 AM and 9:25 AM, and on Kidoodle.TV.
Catchy and kinetic, Will and his Backyard Band perform a high-energy show for young audiences with fun actions and sing-along choruses.
Will first discovered his talent for writing children’s music while completing his bachelor of education at the University of B.C. After releasing his first album in 2005 and playing some community festivals around town, Will knew he had found his calling. In 2009, he took a three-year leave from teaching to pursue music full time and has never looked back. Will’s performed more than 1,000 shows at major festivals, schools and theatres across Canada, averaging 150 shows a year.
Will’s six albums of original music in English and French have garnered international recognition including a 2011 Kids Music Award, a 2011 West Coast Songwriters Award, approval from the Parents’ Choice Awards, and multiple nominations from the Western Canadian Music Awards, the Canadian Independent Music Awards and Canadian Folk Music Awards. His music is also featured on Putumayo’s compilations, “Kids World Party” and “French Dreamland,” and is on regular rotation online on Galaxie radio and CBC Music.
Will is also part of B.C.’s ArtStarts in Schools roster and sits on their board of directors. In addition to leading artist-in-residency songwriting programs for students and music workshops for teachers, Will was recently honoured as one of UBC Education’s 100 Alumni for his outstanding achievements in the education field in 2015.
“The reception from Canadian kids and their families has been so positive that we decided to double Will’s on-air presence, adding a second airing of Will’s Jams every weekday morning. There is a reason that children and parents find Will’s music so appealing. Aside from being creative and hugely entertaining, his songs also deliver important educational messages to children that help them in their daily lives and in their development. As a developmental psychologist, I know how powerful music can be in connecting with children and delivering positive messages and lessons, and when this can be done in a way that is also fun and entertaining, you have a winning combination. Will Will, that’s exactly what you get!”
– Lynn Oldershaw, PHD, Executive in-charge of Production, Preschool Programming, Kids’ CBC
“I have booked Will Stroet and his Backyard Band for several family events and festivals, including the Whistler Children’s Festival and the Vancouver International Children’s Festival over the past 10 years. Drawing from his own experiences, Will creates songs and stories that entertain the whole family with his highly participatory concerts. He weaves imaginative wordplay with great melodies all to great effect. He is hugely entertaining and engages children on so many levels, from great action songs to thoughtful environmental issues ballads. There seems to be something for everyone, from the many parents who are always tapping to the tunes, to the youngest of the little ones. Will is very impressive! It would be hard to recommend a more energetic, extremely talented, and entertaining children’s performer than Will Stroet.”
– Lucie Lareau, Whistler Children’s Festival Arts Programmer
Elliot Langford is the bassist in the Backyard Band and is busy working as both a performer and teacher. He graduated with a BMus from Vancouver Community College in 2009. In addition to playing with Will, Elliot plays in several other bands and has toured extensively across North America and Europe. He is also active as a guitar teacher, having taught music lessons for over 10 years, and is a co-founder of the Mount Pleasant Music Teachers Co-Op. Visit Elliot’s website at elliotlangford.wordpress.com.
Kevin Romain is the drummer in the Backyard Band and a top-call musician in a wide range of styles in Vancouver’s busy music scene. He has been playing and performing across Canada and internationally for the past decade. He studied jazz and contemporary music at Vancouver Community College, and teaches drums and percussion at the Mt Pleasant Music Teachers Co-Op. For more information about Kevin, check out www.kevinromain.com.