Musical groups come in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles, but one local group stands out for history and service.
The Red Cedar Sounds chorus is a nonprofit service women’s barbershop a cappella musical act with members from Chippewa, Dunn and Eau Claire counties.
The chorus is a member of Sweet Adelines International, a worldwide singing organization with educational opportunities and annual region and international competitions for choruses and quartets.
Kathy Tape, president of Red Cedar Sounds, said the goal of the 14-member chapter is to communicate members’ personalities through music and bring enjoyment to every audience they perform for.
“We try to tell a story with our music,” Tape said. “Some of the songs we’ve chosen are such that we’re telling a story about what the song is about, and maybe it brings back memories for our audience. Maybe they think about when they were growing up, or some of the songs we perform may remind them of a certain point in their life and trigger some good memories. We try to express ourselves through song and communicate who we are through music.”
The music the group performs ranges in style and spans decades of musical history but stays true to the intentions and image of the organization Red Cedar Sounds serves.
“The music we perform is a mixture of older music from the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s all the way through more contemporary music,” Tape said. “What we choose to perform mostly depends on how the music is presented and who does the arranging, because we have to use approved Sweet Adelines music.”
Red Cedar Sounds regularly performs for area community groups and events, band concerts, nursing homes, retirement communities, churches and private events. Some of these performances include their annual show, which began in 2007 featuring the chorus, local quartets Con Brio and Totally Connected and a variety of guest performances.
The group planted its roots in January 2000 when the founding members decided to move forward with the intent of forming a new Sweet Adelines chapter. After completing the required steps to become a certified chorus and going down the correct channels, the group was officially formed in December 2003 and since then has seen dozens of area women come together to perform.
In addition to bringing enjoyment to crowds throughout the Chippewa Valley, Tape said the group has educational and other benefits.
“The group has a lot of educational opportunities for our members,” Tape said. “We learn the best proper breathing techniques, singing techniques and students have shown that people who sing and participate in these types of things have better overall health, so there are health benefits too.”
After almost two decades worth of history and performances, the next step for Red Cedar Sounds is to present its 12th Annual Harvest of Harmony Cabaret, “Americana.” The event will take place on Saturday, Oct. 19, in the Martin Anderson Gymnasium at 601 University Ave. in Colfax. The event will feature tall tales, American folklore and legends. Tickets for the performance are $9 for adults and $3 for children.
Tape said the Red Cedar Sounds will continue to perform as much as it can both for their individual enjoyment and to continue to see smiles staring back from the audiences.