Musician & Music Teacher
Brian McLennan has been teaching and performing a wide range of music for the past 25 years, including: Rock, Blues, Metal, Country, Jazz, Surf, and R+B.
He continually strives to learn all he can about music of all time periods at every opportunity, including learning new instruments (Banjo, Mandolin, Ukulele), and studying musical media of all kinds.
He has performed as a guitarist throughout BC and Alberta in many bands including: Original Rock Projects (Robert Burton, Andrea Michelle, Jura), Classic Rock/Country cover bands (Big Yellow Van, Whiskey Business, The Pulse) Motown Tribute (Toshi Jackson and The Silhouettes) Surf/Rockabilly/Instrumental (Surf Dragons, Rattlesnake Shakes) International recording artist Kinny (R+B/hip hop) Kelowna hard rock band Life Musical Theater performances in: Raft of the Medusa, Raft a Rock Opera, the Who’s Tommy, and an upcoming production of The War of The Worlds.
Brian was a music instructor at Wentworth Music Education Center in Kelowna for 10 years, teaching Guitar, Bass, Mandolin, Banjo, and Ukulele lessons to about 75 students per week and assisting with the preparation and rehearsals of the Student Rocks Shows twice a year.
He has also instructed at Studio 9 School Of The Arts in Kelowna as well as in Kimberley, BC and Calgary, AB.
He earned his Diploma in Professional Music Performance at Selkirk College in 1996 and completing the Recording Arts and Music Production program at Columbia Academy in 1991.
“I have always loved music, but the first time I really heard or paid attention to the guitar was when I listened to The Ventures, the insrumental surf band. My uncle gave me a few Kiss albums a few years later, and Ace Frehley’s catchy, melodic solos really grabbed me. That led to my teenage hard rock/heavy metal fixation: Iron Maiden, Twisted Sister, Motley Crue Van Halen etc. Around age sixteen, I got heavily into Metallica and Guns n Roses, and began playing the guitar.
I took some very helpful lessons from Dustin Keillor, and worked hard on learning as many things as i could from books, magazines, and VHS guitar lessons. While reading interviews with famous guitarists, I was always fascinated by who they would mention as influential players. I would scour record stores, the library, garage sales etc. to find recordings of these unknown (to me) players.
Some of the many guitarists I came to love in this way include: Steve Morse (probably the best all-around player ever), Jeff Beck (the envy of many pros, and still getting better into his 70s), Charlie Christian (the father of electric jazz guitar), Peter Green (the founder of the original Fleetwood Mac and the best of the British blues players), Country guitarists such as: Jimmy Bryant, Joe Maphis, Chet Atkins, Merle Travis, Albert Lee opened up a whole new way of playing to me. Dick Dale re-awakened my love of Surf music. Joe Sariani, a guitar teacher of many pros (Steve Vai, Kirk Hammet, Larry Lalonde, Charlie Hunter etc.) as well as being an incredible player, sparked my interest in teaching as a realistic musical career goal.
At 22 I enrolled in the Professional Music Program at Selkirk College in Nelson BC, and took private lessons from the great Cliff Maddix and Paul Landsberg. My time in Nelson really helped clarify my understanding of musical theory, ear training, and notation, and made it clear that a life in music was my only real choice. My gear choices have been greatly influenced by my favourite players of that time: in the late 80s/early 90s I had a Kramer guitar and a Marshall stack. In college, an ADA MP-1, Alesis Quadraverb rack system and a Fender Stratocaster.
As a working musician, a Peavey Delta Blues 210 amp has been my workhorse for 20 years. Guitars and effects piled up over the years, highlights include: Danelectro electric and Baritone guitars, Fender Telecaster, Epiphone Dot, and dozens of little guitar pedals and gadgets.”