Singer forms a circle
Legal's Leah Pauls aims to get people singing and socializing
Wednesday, Feb 26, 2014 06:00 am
Holy Trinity Anglican Church Hall
5025 – 50th Avenue
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Leah Pauls believes singing is a natural human birthright and she’s embarked on a mission to create more opportunities for people.
The California transplant now based out of Legal is starting up a community music circle, and she’s searching for energetic, enthusiastic singers to join the spontaneous jam fest.
The evening music circle will take place at Bon Accord’s Holy Trinity Anglican Church Hall every Tuesday starting March 4.
Pauls, a natural soprano, views circle singing as a spontaneous, improvisational experience, a little bit like a drum circle for singers.
It’s a way that singers of every stripe can gain or reinforce their self-confidence and delight in creating together. It’s also a great exercise in listening to others and responding to what blooms.
“Music brings people together and that’s being lost in communities. Anything with music connects and heals. It’s not just something I crave. There are others out there. In this digital world, we are becoming removed from people and this is an opportunity to connect,” said Pauls.
Raised in north of Sacramento, Calif., Pauls learned to play the flute in elementary school and later joined a high-school choir and chamber singers.
Initially she dreamed of studying pre-med at Pepperdine University, but instead received a degree in English literature from Fresno State University. Pauls followed up with teaching credentials from California’s National University.
“When I was 30, I bought my own guitar and was singing lead vocals. I’d always been a poet. Suddenly poetry lined up with music and I started writing my own music.”
Pauls’ husband Jason was employed in the Golden State’s construction industry. But when the American economy tanked, construction hit the brakes and jobs disappeared. Jason, the son of a Gibbons chicken farmer, had dual citizenship and the couple moved north three years ago to restart their lives.
The Pauls have lived in Legal for about a year and are already planting roots.
“I give guitar lessons for free. With the songs my students learn, we go to senior centres once a month. It’s a lesson in service. Besides I’ve gotten to know the community and it’s something I want to do to be part of it.”
Pauls also stepped up her musicianship last summer performing with bass guitarist Garry Golinksi at St. Albert Farmers’ Market.
However, the idea of a music circle evolved after she performed at Bon Accord’s Canada Day picnic.
“I’d pulled out my guitar and was sitting on a blanket singing oldies and family tunes. I just wished others could sing. I knew others didn’t have the confidence or know the words.”
The upcoming vocal jam fest is as much about socializing as it is about music.
“I’ll give tips and points, vocal exercises and we can learn four or five songs a month,” Pauls said. “It’s also an opportunity for people to share their music.”