Saratogian: Sweet Sounds: Ladies of Saratoga Soundtrack raise their voices in joy
Members of Saratoga Soundtrack pose for a photo Dec. 1 at the Victorian Streetwalk in downtown Saratoga Springs. Maureen Werther — For The Saratogian
By Maureen Werther, For The Saratogian
POSTED: 12/07/16, 2:40 PM EST
Saratoga Soundtrack performs at the streetwalk.Maureen Werther — For The Saratogian
SARATOGA SPRINGS >> The ladies of Saratoga Soundtrack, an all-female a cappella singing group, don’t sing because it’s a job. They sing because it’s a joy.
Started in 2006 by a small group of women, the informal choristers quickly grew and became part of Sweet Adelines International, receiving their official charter on Aug. 8, 2008. Since then, they have steadily gained a stellar reputation in the area as a highly accomplished and entertaining troupe. Their recent performance at Saratoga Springs’ annual Victorian Street Walk, from the patio of Salt & Char Restaurant on Broadway, was well-attended and appreciated by the crowds gathered on the sidewalk.
Nancy Faddegon is a founder and musical director of the group, along with her co-founder and assistant director, Jennifer Hunter, a former teacher who also handles choreography, web and social media, and wears a lot of other hats as well.
In fact, the group all pitch in to help with a host of tasks, which range from costume selection and maintenance to public relations and marketing. The group now totals 31 members and they have become a staple in the region for beautiful four-part harmonies and exceptional arrangements of music, ranging from early church music to rock ‘n roll.
When the group first started, there were no other all-female choruses in the region devoted strictly to a cappella barbershop-style harmonizing. The popular men’s group, Racing City Chorus, was the only barbershop-style singing group and Faddegon and Hunter felt there was a void that needed to be filled with the addition of a female counterpart to the men’s group.
During its 10-year existence – eight of those as members of Sweet Adelines International – Saratoga Soundtrack has performed for appreciative audiences across the region. They have also competed on the regional, national and international level, winning first place in the Small Chorus Championship level in 2009 and again in 2011. In 2012, as the size of their group expanded, they competed and won at the Mid-Size Chorus Championship level, placing fourth overall that year. They have travelled to Denver and Las Vegas to participate in the Sweet Adelines International competition.
Rebecca Alexander, a resident of Saratoga Springs and member of the group for the past six years, calls it an amazing experience to be greeted onstage by an audience of supporters at the competitions, as well as by dedicated local fans.
“We are fourth in the world in our division,” she adds proudly.
But, it’s not all about performing and wearing costumes. The group meets every Monday night from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall on 50 Pine Road in Saratoga Springs. Rehearsal includes working on choreography, educational voice coaching and staging.
Sweet Adelines International was created in 1945 by a small group of women who loved to sing and wanted to share their passion with others. More than 70 years later, Sweet Adelines International is now a recognized worldwide organization with more than 23,000 members – all united by their loving of singing, enriching the lives of others and forming lifelong bonds with their sister members.
As part of that rich tradition, Saratoga Soundtrack is eager to spread the word about its organization and encourage more women to become involved in the group. Their weekly rehearsals are open to the public, and they encourage visitors to stop by and learn more about the group.
Co-founder Jennifer Hunter says that everyone who joins the group loves the experience. She adds that everyone’s singing – as well as their confidence and poise – have improved as a result of being part of the group.