Toronto-based Cadence sings Wednesday (March 4) at Guildford’s Hjorth Road Elementary, one stop on their “A Cappella Time Machine” tour of Surrey Schools. The vocal group will perform a public concert Friday, March 13 at city hall’s Centre Stage theatre. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

‘Time-travel’ school show previews sounds of Cadence in public Surrey concert

‘It’s kind of about riding that wave of energy in a gym like this,’ says member of vocal group

When Cadence sings, students listen and learn.

The group of four Toronto-based vocalists, with four microphones and no instruments, both entertained and educated a crowd of kids and teachers at Guildford’s Hjorth Road Elementary on Wednesday (March 4), as part of a tour of schools in Surrey, Delta, Langley and elsewhere.

Their “A cappella Time Machine” show is designed for such performances as a lesson in music history, from Mozart to modern-day sounds.

“It’s super fun being in schools, and we do a lot of these kinds of shows,” said Cadence tenor Lucas Marchand.

“It’s kind of about riding that wave of energy in a gym like this, the excitement that’s always there. I think we do a good job of weaving in those educational elements and still make it entertaining, keep it going. The show we’re doing today is a time-travel show, where we have this time machine and we sing songs from different time periods, so it is an education in music. It’s a fun time, fun show.”

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While in the Surrey area, the vocal quartet will sing a public, ticketed concert at city hall’s Centre Stage theatre on the night of Friday, March 13, in another Surrey Civic Theatres presentation. Tickets range from $25 to $35 at tickets.surrey.ca, or call 604-501-5566.

“That’s a very different show than this one, more of our typical theatre or festival show, and more adult than this stuff we do in school,” explained baritone/bass singer David Lane. “We’ll do a variety of songs including some from our most recent album, which is a lot of Canadian repertoire – Gordon Lightfoot, Michael Bublé, artists like that, and Feist, yeah, along with classic vocal jazz stuff as well as a few originals too. But it’s still a family show – for everyone.”

Cadence co-founder Ross Lynde is the only remaining original member of the group, which got its start in 1998 and has since released five albums of music starting with Frost Free in 2000, Twenty for One in 2005, Speak Easy in 2010, Cool Yule in 2011 and Home in 2018.

Kurt Sampson, who sings bass and vocal percussion, joined the group in 2007.

“We’re all educators, teachers in one way or another, too,” he said, “so hopefully students like these do learn about music and it inspires them to get into the arts.”

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Sampson said Cadence performs up to 160 shows a year, and nearly 80 of those are done in schools, from Ontario to B.C. – “and we were in Dubai last week doing some workshops at schools there, which is great,” he added.

The group’s tour dates, along with school study guides, video and more, are posted to cadence-unplugged.com.

“With schools shows,” Lynde continued, “that evolved over the years but we definitely started out with school shows in mind as well, as a great way to be able to perform but also not be on tour for great lengths of time. We hit up all of our teacher friends to do performances and workshops, and that evolved into working with an agency in Toronto whose mandate is to bring the arts into schools, and that’s what we’re doing. Out here it’s a similar organization called ArtStarts.”

Marchand said he remembers seeing groups like Cadence perform at schools he attended as a kid.

“There was one vocal group kind of like us, these guys, that came when I was in middle school,” he recalled. “It is inspiring, it feels accessible because it’s just our voices, no instruments or anything, and the students can hopefully see a path to get to a point where they could sing like us and do the same thing.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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