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Vocal quartet doing whistle-stop rounds
A cappella group now appearing at Corydon Avenue, Osborne Village venues
Bill Quinn loves tuning his attention to the holiday season.
Bass singer Quinn is a founding member of The SnowTones, a musical quartet that brings its collective a cappella voice to special events, conferences, private clubs and even the pre-game anthems for the Winnipeg Goldeyes several times a season.
This month, however, the group — which also includes jazz singer Jodie Borle, soprano and St. Vital resident Sara Clefstad-Tremblay and tenor Dan Peasgood — is firmly focused on performing holiday hits at various locations on the Corydon Avenue strip and in Osborne Village.
Working in partnership with Corydon Avenue BIZ and Osborne Village BIZ, The Snowtones will sing at restaurants and stores on Corydon on Dec. 13, 14, 20, 21, 22 and 23 from 6 to 8 p.m.
It will hit up similar establishments in the village on Dec. 14 and 21 between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.
If you’re hoping to hear renditions of your favourite Christmas classics such as Let It Snow, Jingle Bell Rock and Santa Baby, to name a few, the group won’t be staying put at one location for too long, Quinn said.
"When we hit these restaurants and shops, people often want us to stay but we usually do one or two numbers and don’t hang around, as we don’t want to interfere the staff doing their jobs," said Quinn, a developmental music teacher with Louis Riel School Division and key member of Renaissance Voices choir.
The River Heights resident said the group’s destinations this month include Cafe Carlo (243 Lilac St.), Saffron’s Restaurant (681 Corydon Ave.) and Colosseo Ristorante Italiano (670 Corydon Ave.).
The group traditionally finishes its Corydon tour with a trip to Daly Burgers (619 Corydon Ave.) for a well-earned meal.
Formed in 2010 with original tenor Conrad Siebert, Quinn said the group decided to change its musical approach from a traditional format to a jazzier vibe after a less than festive reception from travellers at the former Winnipeg International Airport terminal.
"We had been singing more Dickens-era numbers and one day we serenaded a lineup waiting for a flight and we were booed," Quinn said, with a laugh.
"It shook us up and we kind of started thinking about the kind of stuff were singing and had a rethink. My idea was to still be relevant but go in a different direction, so we decided to put together more contemporary arrangements with more of a jazz and pop feeling."
An active member of the Winnipeg music scene for years, Quinn looks forward to performing with The SnowTones when the festive season rolls around.
"December is always busy for me but this is the thing I look forward to the most. I get to relax and have fun. I really enjoy entertaining people and it brings a bit of life back to me. If people want to add a little musical cheer to their holidays, they should come and see us," he said.
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