Reported by Alice D’Eon
With teachers like Deborah Holland on the faculty, it’s no surprise that Langara churns out successful students.
Holland, an instructor in Langara’s singer-songwriter certificate program and coordinator for the digital music production program, has done it all.
She has dabbled in film scoring and her solo work has been used in soundtracks on hit TV shows such as Keeping up with the Kardashians.
Her current band, The Refugees, is releasing a new Christmas single later this month.
Big break was with Animal Logic
Holland is best known for her integral role in the late 1980’s pop trio Animal Logic, where she shared the stage with Police drummer, Stewart Copeland, and jazz bassist, Stanley Clarke.
Holland credits her many accomplishments to her time with Animal Logic, saying her audition for them was her “big break.”
“It was a door opener for me. My teaching job came from that. I got into The Refugees because of that.”
Playing with Animal Logic took Holland all over the world and onto huge mainstream talk shows such as The Tonight Show (twice) and Late Night with David Letterman.
Unfortunately, their performance on Letterman got preempted by the fall of the Berlin Wall. “So pretty much any time you put me on TV, something cataclysmic is going to happen,” she laughed.
Wesley Scott, a former student, described Holland as “very approachable” and still keeps in touch with her.
Getting inspired key
Holland encourages her students to kick-start their own inspiration instead of waiting to feel inspired.
“She taught us you have to push forward and just keep writing,” Scott said.
The Refugees is comprised of Holland, and acclaimed American singer-songwriters Cidny Bullens and Wendy Waldman.
Although its members live far apart, all with successful solo careers, The Refugees are close to Holland’s heart. Speaking over the phone from Portland, Maine, Bullens couldn’t give Holland enough praise.
“She is the highest-quality musician I know,” Bullens said.
Check out an exclusive sneak preview of The Refugees’ new holiday single titled This Christmas.