HUNTSVILLE — A world class act is coming to Huntsville.
Ripple Effect was formed in 2017 with the intention of becoming the first mixed barbershop quartet to compete and win on the Ontario District stage. That goal was achieved, and they have continued on to win the Ontario district for three consecutive years. They are also the current world mixed quartet bronze medallists.
The group is comprised of Erin Smythe — Lead, Jonah Lazar — Baritone, Robert Ross — Bass and Rachel Hearn — Tenor. As a foursome, they have an intense enthusiasm for the a cappella art form and truly enjoy singing and working together. Although barbershop is what initially brought them together, they have a passion for all kinds of a cappella styles including madrigal, contemporary, pop, gospel, and choral music.
“There’s just something about the raw and naked a cappella form that leaves both the singer and listener vulnerable to all its emotions,” said Erin. “That’s what we endeavour to do; to make people feel things that they’ll remember after the initial performance.”
Ripple Effect are the featured performers in the 30th annual Night of Harmony concert, hosted by the Muskoka Music Mix. The Huntsville chorus will be joined by the Gateway Harmony Company, resulting in over 30 singers on stage celebrating “The Big Three Oh! ”.
“You may note a change in our name,” said James Mossman, the vice-president of marketing for the Muskoka Music Mix. Last year, the Barbershop Harmony Society adopted a bold new Strategic Vision: Everyone in Harmony. For the first time, women can become full members in the society. “We invited women, including some spouses of members of the Muskoka Music Men, to sing with the chorus as we were rehearsing for Christmas performances last year. We liked the fresh sound that the ladies added to the chorus so much, that we asked the women to join us permanently,” and so the Muskoka Music Men became the Muskoka Music Mix.
“It is fitting that we have Ripple Effect, a mixed (men and women) quartet as our guests, to compliment our own move to mixed chorus status,” added Mossman. “At a quartet competition some of us attended last week, the top three finalists were all mixed quartets. I think you will see even more mixed choruses and quartets in future. The different timbre of men’s and women’s voices adds a new dimension to the sound we create.”
In addition to the combined chorus, there will be performances by quartets from each of the two choruses, “Heartbeat” from North Bay and “Two Four Time” from Huntsville.
The show takes place on Saturday, Aug. 17at the Algonguin Theatre in Huntsville. Tickets for the show are $30 for adults and $15 for students, and are available at the theatre box office at (705) 789-4975 or online at www.algonquintheatre.ca.