Monday, April 10, 2017

testament | featured artists | the kwerks & garth bowen

TESTAMENT opens Wednesday evening and runs for one week only! Come celebrate Holy Week with our PT family. Today's featured artists were last seen on our stage in December when they performed in CHRISTMAS PRESENCE.

The Kwerks

"We're really looking forward to coming back and joining in the fun at Pacific Theatre for Testament. It's always a fun experience collaborating with the other artists to put together a really unique show on the fly. Ron leads it so well and really infuses magic into each performance. It's an honour to be included."

About The Kwerks:

"I'm quitting my job and I'm pursuing my lifelong dream of becoming a rock star. In my 30s. After having "settled down". After marriage (well, during, actually), mortgage, career, kids, dog, and everything else that comes with those. And yes, it's a bit crazy. Oh, and Ryan's doing it with me."

In the spring of 2015, Laura had an epiphany - a suppressed dream unearthed itself and made its way to the front and centre, and she, along with her husband, Ryan, dove in head first. She left her career, sent her previously homeschooled kids to school, and took up her guitar.

The many months that ensued have been pretty wild, and The Kwerks have made a splash wherever they've tested the waters. They put out their self-titled debut EP in April 2016 and have been heard on college radio across the country and blasted out the windows of many a happy car.

Their music is a mix of folk-pop, bluegrass and a bit of country. Their live performances are peppered with sassy dance moves by Ryan and cheeky stories flowing from their 17 years of life together. They have a way of making audiences laugh to tears, and leave happier than a bunch of carrot-filled bunnies.

Together and separately, they've been compared to The Weepies, Will Ferrell, Sarah Harmer, and The Beatles. Only some of that statement is true, actually. Sometimes The Kwerks will make things up to make a joke. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't.

Sometimes the pair performs as a duo, and sometimes they bring their whole band along for a full-bodied experience. Either way, they bring loads of fun to the stage with music that has been described as "fresh", "unique", and "catchy". Packed with rhythm, the songs are written by Laura, and pack in about as much authentic honesty as you can handle in one sitting. Some of them will make you cry. Others will make you laugh and want to dance. Either way, you'll be an emotional mess by the end of the set. The Kwerks apologize for that, but kind of like it.

The Kwerks were nominated for a Fraser Valley Music Award in Summer 2016 in the POP category. They have performed on stages throughout the Fraser Valley, Metro Vancouver, and beyond.

Laura and Ryan Koch live in Langley, BC, are parents to three young girls, and have a dog named Oscar. They do life with pizazz and a good dose of humour.

Vocals, Guitar / Laura Koch
Vocals / Ryan Koch
Mandolin, Banjo, Accordion, Flute / Gregg Porter
Electric Guitar / Jay Rennicks
Bass / Jonathan Perkins
Drums, Percussion / Tim Dyck

Laura and Ryan Koch are a married couple, parents to three kids and one family dog. They live in Langley, BC and while they’ve been making music together since they first met at summer camp in ’99, nearly two decades later they have taken the plunge and begun hitting the local music scene as “The Kwerks”. Laura has been playing and writing music on the piano and guitar since her childhood and Ryan has an extensive background in musical theatre. In November 2015, they shot a commercial making use of their quirky music, which aired during the Greg Cup 2015, in the theatres, and during a variety of other major television events.

Laura Koch has been playing and singing since she was a wee thing. As a child she loved to sit and create songs with her voice and her piano, and was NOT interested in having anyone listen! Over the years, she honed her skills and built up her courage to be rather more open to sharing music with those around her. Taking up the guitar and mandolin in her teen years encouraged her songwriting further, and over the next few years she played mandolin, piano and sang with Pneuma, a band that spun off Keats Camps on the Sunshine Coast, as well as being a part of the A.S.A.P. band at North Shore Alliance. She then moved on to be a regular leading music at The Church at Southpoint. In the summer of 2015 she found the direction, passion and guts to forge out into the music world as a singer-songwriter, dubbing herself and her husband "The Kwerks”. Their debut, self-titled EP was released in April 2015.

Ryan Koch is Laura’s faithful sidekick in music. Backing her up with vocals and the odd interpretive ribbon dance, he provides the pair with a good dose of humour to work with. As a young adult, Ryan spent a year traveling with Up With People performing a musical across the United States and Europe. Ryan has a great passion for musical theatre, and has played various roles in community theatre productions around the lower mainland over the past several years. He also has a Vine account (tag: JRK) through which he expresses his artistic crazy side - acting, singing, and dressing up as a sheep.


Garth Bowen

"I’m always up for the gestalt improvisational impact that these Pacific Theatre particulars bring to my psyche. Also, I just like joining in with these faithful path plodders."

About Garth:

Garth Bowen is a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and music educator. After growing up in Vancouver – Kitsilano, Garth moved to Richmond where he worked for many years performing and teaching music. After completing a degree in Jazz Education Garth became increasingly passionate about teaching students to perform, improvise and compose music. After 34 years of teaching music with the Richmond School District, he retired and now serves as an adjunct professor with the Faculty of Education at UBC. In his spare time Garth enjoys recording in his studio and helping others with their musical recording projects. Playing music with friends is always a joy and something Garth intends to sustain. He has self-recorded a warm and folky Christmas record entitled, “A Single Birth” (2008) and is currently working on another record of inspired originals. He hopes to have many more opportunities to teach and make music with talented people. Contact Garth at if you are interested in recording, performance or creative collaboration.

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