Jan 22

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Sea Belles shares stage with Top Maritime Musicians

Atlantic Area Barbershop Choruses Share Stage with Top Maritime Musicians

2018 Dec 21 Sea Belles at the Imperial Theatre singing The Trouble with Mittens with Tomato Tomato.

Christmas is always a busy performance time for Harmony Inc. Choruses, caroling for shoppers, in senior homes and at community events, but for three Area 1 choruses this year there was a special excitement. Island A Cappella, Sea Belles Chorus and Elm City Echoes were thrilled to be invited to perform on stage with several award winning Maritime folksingers and songwriters during three stops of Tomato Tomato’s 10-city Maritime Christmas Show tour. Also included in the show were Canadian folk song writer, Dave Gunning and Cape Breton singer song writer, Heather Rankin.

Each chorus opened the second half of their respective city show with their choice barbershop Christmas song to a very receptive, sold out audience, as well, welcomed John and Lisa MacLaggan (Tomato Tomato) back on stage for their fun-loving spirited song The Trouble with Mittens, with the choruses singing “back up” “wha-oo” and “doot”on the refrain.

How did it all happen?

On November 9, Island A Cappella’s president Jan Coffin received an email from Shelley Chase, Road manager for the funky Maritime songwriter duo, Tomato Tomato, requesting they perform on stage for their December 1 Maritime Christmas Show at the Confederation Center in Charlottetown, PEI. In accepting this offer, Director Carolyn Prime also shared contact information on other Harmony, Inc. a cappella choruses. As a result, Saint John Sea Belles Chorus and Fredericton’s Elm City Echoes were also contacted for Tomato Tomato’s Saint John and Fredericton shows.

Both Island A Cappella and Sea Belles choruses responded to Ms. Chase’s request to create a 30 second promotional video for the show which was uploaded and shared on Tomato Tomato‘s Facebook page. Lisa MacLaggan had this to say on their Facebook page in response to IAC video, These ladies are amazing!!! We are very excited to have Island A Cappella from PEI, join us!”. ( https://www.facebook.com/Island-A-Cappella-womens-chorus-1638057049793598/ )

Elm City Echoes’ Carole Peacock expressed it best after their December 22 performance. “It was an offer we couldn’t refuse! A chance to sing one of our favourite upbeat Christmas tunes (Little St. Nick) and perform with that crazy, funky duo Tomato Tomato for a sold-out house at The Fredericton Playhouse three days before Christmas . .  . what a high! The audience loved it and we left the stage, waving, to thunderous applause. We had succeeded as back-up singers. We were giddy and relieved as walked out into the night and headed home.”

Sea Belles’ Director Janet Kidd had this to say about their December 21st experience: “This was a huge opportunity for the chorus to be heard and seen by 900 people who would not necessarily come to our regular performances. As the curtain opened we heard gasps about our sparkly red outfits, and then wonderfully intense quiet listening as we opened the second half of the show with Mary Did You Know.

Doing the back-up vocals in Tomato Tomato’s following song (Janet arranged The Trouble with Mittens in four part barbershop style) was such fun – and an interesting challenge for us because the style was so different from Barbershop. Not only was it an honour to be invited to be on that stage, but it was also exciting to know that our barbershop sisters in other cities were also being allowed to showcase our wonderful a cappella style!!” (Youtube video recording with permission of Tomato Tomato https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIKf_ZW4FmM )

Area 1 Director, Linda Brehaut gets excited every time she sees the Area work as an “ensemble”. “This was one of those wonderful opportunities when 3 of our choruses shared with so many people the gift of a cappella music along side some very gifted Maritime artists. What a wonderful experience!”

All in all, this is a fabulous example of the marvelous things that can happen when Area 1 Choruses work together and share their time, talents and accept “outside the box” opportunities.

2018 Dec Sea Belles and Island A Cappella shows with Tomato Tomato

Permanent link to this article: https://www.seabelles.ca/sea-belles-shares-stage-with-top-maritime-musicians/