Sweet Scarlet Turns Four! | Vancouver A Cappella

HappyBirthdayToday is Sweet Scarlet’s anniversary! I can’t believe how much we’ve grown as a vocal group and as friends over the past five years. With a ton of hard work, dedication and laughter, we have improved our sound and strengthened our bond as a group. Each of these ladies is such an important part of my life and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us this year.

The Scarlettes have had a busy few weeks! We were thrilled to sing at the Pacific Post Partum Support Society’s Angel Donor Dinner last week. We all had misty eyes as Eran brilliantly and eloquently spoke at this event. By the time she was done, there was hardly a dry eye in the room. We then sang together and raised our voices in harmony in support of this amazing organization. Here’s a video clip of our final song, plus encore!

We also had a wonderful session with vocal coach Kimberly Markarian as we prepare for our upcoming Kathaumixw competitions. We worked on phrasing and supported, quiet breathing before singing. Sometimes we need to focus on technique as the music we are singing is quite intricate and requires our brains to hyper-focus on many different aspects of the singing. It was helpful to bring the attention to our technique and hopefully by Kathaumixw time, it will all be second nature so that we can simply fall into the music and deliver the messages of each piece with the attention they deserve.

We have been working on our choral-ography for two of our pieces and we are excited to be sharing them with an audience soon! The moves have been challenging for us to learn, especially for one particularly difficult piece, but all of the work will be well worth it when we nail it on stage (gulp…hopefully!)

Lastly, Sweet Scarlet has officially registered for Yule Duel 2016 for this Christmas! C’mon…it’s us! The mention of Christmas in June isn’t out of the ordinary! We are thrilled to once again be a part of Yule Duel for it’s second year. Choirs will line the streets of Gastown and carol for a cause with all of the funds going to May’s Place. May’s Place is a hospice dedicated to providing compassionate end-of-life care for individuals of all walks of life.

We wish you all a wonderful week!

~Katy (& the Scarlettes) xox

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A Sweet Scarlet Lovefest! | Vancouver A Cappella

Just like every other family unit, the Scarlettes also need some quality time together to rejuvenate. Thankfully this past weekend we had an opportunity for exactly that. We planned a “Sweet Scarlet intensive” rehearsal in a dance studio space to learn and practice our competition “choralography” and to do some serious vocal work on both our competition pieces and our showcase repertoire.   As you can imagine, after 7 hours of singing and dancing we were exhausted, but the rehearsal tracks we recorded from the day illustrated how helpful it was to have that dedicated time.

image1 (5)What came afterward was even better. We all went to dinner and thanks to our lovely Eran’s suggestion, proceeded to “shower” each other with positive comments and admiration. There are different versions of this group activity, but the essential element is that you pick one person at a time and they must remain quiet as the rest of the group takes this opportunity to tell her what they admire, respect and love about her. Let me tell you that this was not a short activity for the Scarlettes! It was amazing to have an opportunity to tell each and every girl what we admire about them and equally amazing to hear these words back.

As a message from us to you, take the time to tell those in your life what they mean to you and what makes them fabulous. You may think they know already, but it never hurts to say it out loud. When we watched the happy tears of each of these 6 ladies whom we see at least once a week, we all realized how important it is to share happy thoughts each and every day with the ones you love.

So go ahead and spend some time this week “showering” those you love and see how amazing it feels for both you and them.

love,
The Scarlettes.

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Celebrating Mother’s Day | Vancouver A Cappella

11164570_847689705278985_1644870111118920970_nOne of the most unique things about Sweet Scarlet is that we are all mothers. Between the 6 members, there are 11 children between us, and we often joke about how we could start our own children’s choir with our combined offspring!

But it’s not the children that make us unique (although each of our kidlets is pretty unique in their own way!), but the fact that despite our crazy and hectic motherhood schedules, we continue to make time to get together once a week, for three hours, without children, to get together and sing.

We’re not always in the best of moods, and we often have other household/career/life issues on our brains – but after spending three hours together doing something that we love, usually those worries are able to fade into the background for a little bit. And having this network of other mothers, who “get it” and share the same passion and need to escape into something that is truly our own, is something that we all treasure.

And so, this Mother’s Day, we hope that you get a chance to do something YOU really love! Fittingly, Mother’s Day always falls on a rehearsal day for us (Sundays!), and so we will be spending our morning with our families, and our afternoon together, rehearsing and performing at a private engagement – all things we really love!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mamas out there!

With love,
The Scarlettes

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It’s a bird…it’s a plane…it’s Vista!

IMG_1078For us Scarlettes, balancing family life, work, and choir rehearsals is a challenge, but one special Scarlette has been sporting an invisible cape these days and seems to be channeling her inner super powers zooming across town from one rehearsal to the next.

Adding to her already hectic schedule, Vista, a full time lawyer and mother of two, is busy rehearsing for the annual charity lawyer show presented by Touchstone Theatre and Carousel Theatre. This year’s show is Hairspray and our very own Vista is proudly playing the role Kamilah, the pink dynamite!

The show is one of Vancouver’s most important legal events and a valued tradition. The Lawyer Show is a fundraiser for two of Vancouver’s most cherished theatre institutions: Carousel Theatre for Young People and Touchstone Theatre, both registered charities.

On top of tickets sales and donations, there is also a silent auction where you can bid to win your very own private living room performance by none other than Sweet Scarlet!

The show promises not disappoint with lots of amazing singing and dancing. This will be a great opportunity to hear Vista’s remarkable vocal talent!

If you’re interested in a fun night out and supporting a great cause check out the following for further information: (http://www.carouseltheatre.ca/the-lawyer-show/) (http://www.touchstonetheatre.com/the-lawyer-show/)

Tickets are available here or call 604-685-6217

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Singing, Sisterhood & One Special Scarlette

As you know, we six get together each week and for a few short hours, to work our butts off while singing our hearts out. We leave feeling fulfilled, renewed, and supported. We really are so lucky.

It is hard to take time away from our busy lives, (we are six working mamas after all!) but for each of us, our time together is so important. We have become a support network; encouraging each other through the ups and downs life throws our respective ways. AND we LOVE to celebrate the ups! Right now, we are SO proud of our alto, Eran, and her recent successes.

A year ago, having suffered from post partum depression after the birth of her son, Eran started a website called the Good Mother Project. The site featured her powerful photo series of mothers and their children holding inspirational and uplifting messages (messages such as “you are a good mother”) and a blog. Eran held the photo sessions to raise funds for the Pacific Post Partum Support Society. The Good Mother Project brings together a network of mothers in an online forum where women can relate and find support through heartfelt stories written by other mothers. Eran’s mandate is to “encourage, inspire and empower others who are navigating the same pressure-filled waters of parenthood” and the Good Mother Project does just that!

The project has created quite a buzz! It has been covered in the news several times, including the Huffington Post. Moreover, Eran recently was recognized by being asked to speak at one of Sam Sullivan’s Public Salons at the Vancouver Playhouse, (an evening of speakers sharing ideas that educate and provoke thought) and shared her journey in creating the Good Mother Project with a large audience. You can watch her speech too by following this link.

On our fall Sweet Scarlet retreat, Eran shared huge news with us. She had written an essay that was selected for inclusion in the tribute book, Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It. As a huge fan of Eat Pray Love, and being one of thousands to submit their stories, this was a HUGE accomplishment. Around the dinner table, Eran read her story to us. There was not a dry eye in the room, as you can imagine. The book just hit the shelves, and if you ask her nicely, she might just autograph your copy for you!

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And if that wasn’t enough to keep her busy, outside of her photography business, Eran has also worked tirelessly this year to bring the live stage production, Listen to Your Mother, to Canada AND she will be performing her story in the production as well – a story about Sweet Scarlet and how our weekly rehearsals helped to lift her up during her time with post partum depression. The show is made up of thirteen women telling stories about motherhood. We can’t wait! Tickets are on sale now on Eventbrite.

The reach of Eran’s accomplishments over this past year has touched so many people, more than she will ever know. She is a hero. She is our hero. And we are so SO proud of her! <3

Love,
The Scarlettes xox

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Gearing Up To Compete! | Vancouver A Cappella Music

As many of you already know, Sweet Scarlet is thrilled to have been selected as one of the groups to compete in this year’s International Choral Kathaumixw competition. We have been brainstorming and planning from the moment we received the good news.

There are multiple categories in the competition and each category has specific requirements for the song selections. Not that it would surprise any of you who know one of the Scarlettes personally… but we have decided to compete in all the categories open to us! The Canadian Folk category in particular was a fun selection process for us. It made us brainstorm what we could perform that would be a good representation of our wonderful country. As indicated in our “song spotlight” from our last post, we chose the Log Driver’s Waltz as one of our two pieces for that category. Here is a snippet of one of our first rehearsals of this quirky and fun piece:

(watch the video here if the link does not appear)

After a few weeks of careful consideration and a few pieces that did not make the cut, our category selections are now locked in! This means some intense learning lined up for us six ladies in the coming weeks. Just in case these competition pieces were not going to keep us busy enough, we also have the exciting opportunity to perform two concerts for the international audience at Kathaumixw. This means we will also be deciding what songs from our regular repertoire best represent “Sweet Scarlet”. Do you have a personal favourite Sweet Scarlet song? Take this as an opportunity to tell us on our Facebook page .

We are “Kath bound” and that makes it a very exciting time in the Sweet Scarlet world!

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Song Spotlight: The Log Driver’s Waltz | Vancouver A Cappella

This past month, Sweet Scarlet has been feverishly looking for repertoire to compete with for the upcoming Kathaumixw 2016 International Choral Competition. Although we still have a great deal of research to do, we have already begun learning some pieces. When looking at the requirements for the Folk Category (Canadian folk for us!), one particular song came to mind and it was unanimously decided – we are going to sing “The Log Driver’s Waltz”!

Log Driver's Waltz

SONG SPOTLIGHT

Song: The Log Driver’s Waltz
Written by: Wade Hemsworth
Arranged by: Ron Smail
Arranged for: Elektra (an amazing women’s choir based in Vancouver and directed by the fearless Morna Edmundson)

What a fun piece! This version of “The Log Driver’s Waltz” is upbeat with intricate harmonies and a soaring descant (up in the stratosphere) that we are very excited to perform. It is written from a women’s perspective (how fitting!) regarding her desires for the burly log drivers in her town. With lyrics such as,

“If you should ask any girl from the Parish around, what pleases her most from her head to her toes. She’ll say ‘I’m not sure that it’s business of yours, but I do like to dance with a log driver’”

A log driver was someone whose job was to move the logs from the sawmill down the river using the current to help guide them. It was a dangerous and difficult task with many men losing their lives to the river and heavy logs.

The song refers to the log driver “birling” down the white water. Birling is a difficult skill which entails a log driver standing atop a log and using their feet to rotate the log so that they can stay afloat on top of it. It takes great strength and agility and often resembles a dance, hence the title of the song “The Log Driver’s Waltz”. Nowadays, birling is a competitive sport. In a more contemporary setting, if you are ever in the Vancouver area, it is well worth it to go up Grouse Mountain to see the famous Lumberjack show. You will see some amazing feats by world-renowned lumberjacks including log rolling, tree climbs, axe throwing and much more.

We are thrilled to be singing this upbeat and intricate version of “The Log Driver’s Waltz” and will be posting videos once we have practiced it a few more times. We will also be adding some choralography (our version of choral + choreography) so stay tuned! It should be fun!

Love, The Scarlettes xo

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Kathaumiwx, Here We Come!

In case you weren’t able to attend our festive holiday show, “Home for the Holidays,” and missed the big announcement, Sweet Scarlet is heading to the International Choral Kathaumixw! Taking place in Powell River in July of 2016, this festival is a 5 day choral festival filled with concerts, common song singing, choral & vocal solo competitions, conductor’s seminars and social events. And we’ve been accepted to attend!!

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We couldn’t be more excited to be able to plan for and dedicate ourselves to 5 fun-filled days of singing, listening and socializing with other choir enthusiasts from around the globe. Past festivals have seen participants from as far off as Russia, Puerto Rico, the Phillippines and Denmark. We’ll be honoured to be present amongst such a talented and diverse crowd.

12471673_949290645118890_4555700927353479937_oBut for now, that means PLANNING! This past Sunday, we gathered to dream and scheme (and eat chocolate) for an epic 2016. We’re looking forward to some big things, including not only Kathaumixw, but hopefully also some recordings (did someone say Christmas album??), some new photos and maybe a new website!

Once again, a huge thank you to all of our fabulous supporters and fans! We’re excited for what 2016 will bring, and can’t wait to share all our new plans with you!

love,
the Scarlettes

P.S. For those of you who missed our Christmas show, we’re uploading video footage from the show to our YouTube channel. Check it out!

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Holiday Wishes from the Scarlettes | Vancouver A Cappella

12348001_935735803141041_7253263295023161285_nLast Sunday, all our hard work for the past 6 months came to a crescendoing finale. It seems like just yesterday we were singing Jingle Bells in 30 degree weather. Our self presented show, Home for the Holidays, show went off without a hitch. If you missed the show, or just want to relive the magic, here’s a sneak peek of our opening number, Holly Jolly.:

(If video does not appear, visit the link on YouTube).

The success of this event was mainly in thanks to our amazing volunteers who helped throughout the day. A special thank you to Bonnie & George Cadman, Rosemary Ramsay, Nick Mascott, Gall Stevens and Ashley Freund who helped with transportation, set up and front of house. Thank you to Sakura Iwagami who video-taped the entire show. (Stay tuned for more video releases!) Thank you to Jay Couling who accompanied us on the guitar for our Old Toy Trains number. Finally a big thank you to everyone who came out to the show, or to those who were there in spirit (We missed you Mama Norton!). Your support means so much to us and we love being able to share, with you, our love of music. With our hearts full of love, we wish you a beautiful holiday season and a new year of peace and happiness.

Much love,

The Scarlettes

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Sweet Scarlet Wins! | Vancouver A Cappella

Home.   It is where every person wants to be during the Holidays. For the Scarlettes, home is Vancouver. Vancouver is magical during the holidays. There is no shortage of festivities and events to take your family. On December 3rd, Sweet Scarlet was part of one of these local magical holiday events: Yuel Duel. To start our day, the Scarlettes had the pleasure of appearing on CTV’s morning news to discuss the exciting event.

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Later, Vancouver’s iconic Gas Town was filled with the sounds of over 20 musical groups. The groups ranged from choirs to small ensembles, and the collective holiday enthusiasm was infectious. And we are SO EXCITED to announce that we won Most Creative Performance! AND were voted one of the top 3 People’s Choice Choirs! It was SUCH a fun event to be a part of and we can’t wait to participate again next year!

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Being home for the Holidays is so essential for Sweet Scarlet, that it is the title and theme for our self presented show. We hope to see at our December 13th Home for the Holidays show at St. James Hall in Kitsilano so we can share some of what “Home” means to us. To this particular Scarlette, “Home” is a welcoming, warm and loving environment. The feeling of home can be recreated without actually being in one’s hometown. That is the feeling we hope to share with you on December 13th.

Song Spotlight:

The Song: “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”, arranged by Michele Weir

The six Scarlettes combined have several decades of musical experience that we bring to the table. This is hugely beneficial when we are selecting repertoire. Our talented Eran, for example, has been a part of three different a capella groups. That is how Eran came to know of this beautiful song arrangement. Don’t be fooled by the songs short length, because it is jam packed with beautiful (and sometimes unexpected) chords. If you are joining us at our December 13th show, remember to sit back during this song and think about what “Home” means for you.

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