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Sugartones celebrate 10 years of sweet harmony

May 18, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

Local a capella group, the Sugartones, is celebrating 10 years of performing music in the barbershop style.

The group was formed in 2013 after organizers placed posters around the community inviting ‘women who love to sing’ to blend their voices in harmony without instrument accompaniment.

They found enough interested and talented vocalists to form a group and become a brand-new chapter of Harmony Incorporated – the international organization with a mission of “empowering all women through singing, education, and friendship.”

Sugartones quickly started to offer a unique form of entertainment with their first big show in 2013. Annual shows took on a life of their own with theatrical stage sets, clever plot developments, and creative script writing from members, family, and friends.

“We had to meet a certain criteria to become a chapter of Harmony Incorporated,” explained Tracie Kennedy, president and performance manager of the Sugartones. “Currently we have around 22 singers. It’s a capella music in the barbershop style. We are singing a capella but the style of the arrangements is such that it meets barbershop criteria. This means you have a melody line, a higher harmony, and two lower harmonies – it’s four part harmony. It doesn’t matter how many singers you have, we’re trying to sound like four voices.”

The group sings at all sorts of different local events and also enters national and international competitions.

“We perform for the seniors, we perform at local events, and we’ve done private birthday parties and Christmas parties,” Tracie explained. “We go to competitions in the spring – which is our Ontario-wide competition, and there’s always an international competition in the fall. We have appreciated the opportunities to support music in our schools. Local Girl Guides have joined us on several occasions to earn their singing and arts badges. We love to see the smiles and toes tapping when we sing along with seniors at their residences in our community. And the Christmas holiday season has always been a highlight for Sugartones, with multiple performances in local festivals, private events and appearances on our local TV Holiday productions.”

The group is always looking for new members. Whether you are an experienced vocalist or just curious about singing, they are a very welcoming group.

“You don’t even have to know how to read music to sing with us because we learn from learning tracks, we have individual voice tracks for each of the parts,” Tracie said. “If interested, you can go to Sugartones.ca, that’s probably the easiest way to contact us. We practice Monday nights at the Kingsmere Retirements Suites. We have special guest nights and special vocal coaching sessions. We’re very dedicated to our craft, and because we go to competitions we want to meet the criteria as far as the music goes, but also perform in such a way that we connect to the audience. We really work hard at being the best we can be.”


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