The phrase “whistle while you work” takes on a whole new meaning when you’re Sandy Jasper.
For the past 30 years, Jasper has made a living playing, selling, crafting and teaching the whistle — and, in the last 15 years, the Irish whistle.
This Sunday, Jasper and husband Steve Tozer, who make up the band Elfsong, will bring their original sound to Transfer Beach for the fifth installment of Concerts in the Park.
Elfsong will be performing with guest percussionist Robin Ramalho and guest bassist Brennan Bonar, and 10-year-old Alysha Jondzik will join the group for one song.
“We try to take an audience on a journey,” Jasper said. “We like to talk about the songs we wrote, why we wrote them and what we were going through at the time.”
The two-hour event will include an assortment of Celtic numbers and heartfelt originals ranging in topics from lost and found love, environment, age, local history and cowboys to reincarnation and fate.
Jasper and Tozer originally met in a songwriters’ group. Both of them were heavily involved with other bands at the time.
“We were never seeing each other on New Year’s or anything — I was in about three or four bands, and he was in a couple,” Jasper explained. “Finally, we just said ‘let’s quit everything and play together.’”
Since then, the couple has toured as members of the Will Millar Band, as well as performed as a duo at many concerts, festivals and gigs.
Jasper says the sound of the Irish whistle leaves her breathless every time.
“It’s got a really haunting sound to it,” she said.
Tozer plays the bass, guitar and sings, while Jasper plays a variety of instruments, including the accordion, whistle and saxophone.
They have made Ladysmith their home for the past 20 years, give or take a few years in South Wellington.
“Our town is a treasure trove of talent; [there are] so many amazing artists here that it has been an amazing place to foster our music,” Jasper said. “The culture of family, festival, history and scenery gives an artist endless opportunities to hone their skill and share it with others.”
Jasper’s whistles are often found in local classrooms, utilized in a music curriculum she helped create.
“That’s really cool to watch all the little kids playing my whistles, and I go to their concerts quite often and watch,” she said.
Admission to Concerts in the Park is by donation, and all proceeds go to the Ladysmith Resources Centre Association for all the good work they do in the community.
To learn more about Elfsong, you can visit their website or come out to the Transfer Beach Amphitheatre at 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5 to see them live.