The Tonettes bringing jazzy sound to local events
Five local women think Grand Junction needs a dose of the good ol’ days.
Inspired by the fashion, movies and music of the 1940s, Carrington Schaeffer, Danielle Behrens, Tara DeBruin-Gatseos, Janae DeBruin-Steward and Becci McGarry formed The Tonettes.
The a cappella vocal jazz group plans to sing Christmas songs, Valentines and jazzy arrangements of The Star-Spangled Banner and Happy Birthday throughout western Colorado. The Tonettes also plan to fill a need they see for a professional, female, small ensemble in the area.
And that notion is supported by the Tonettes’ calendar, which is filling up fast with appointments, particularly during December for the holidays.
The Tonettes have rehearsed Christmas songs since they formed in July. They make their city debut at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27, during the Downtown Wells Fargo Christmas Tree Lighting.
They also will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, at the United Methodist Church, 522 White Ave., and will join other groups singing carols in downtown Grand Junction on Friday, Dec. 4, during the First Friday Art & Spirit Walk.
The women hope that listening to The Tonettes sing carols will make others want to sing as well, or sip some hot chocolate, wear a sweater and wrap holiday presents.
“The art of caroling has been lost, well, at least no one is doing it,” Schaeffer said.
Once the Christmas season passes, the women plan to sing at other festivities and private functions. They want to remain flexible both with the times they are available and what they can sing.
And, man, can these women sing.
Each woman sings various parts, moving from soprano to alto on different songs. That type of vocal range in every member of one group isn’t typical, the women said.
“It took practice, practice, practice,” Behrens said.
All of the women are from Grand Junction and attended Mesa State College, where they became friends. In fact, the idea to start a group came in July when the five were in DeBruin-Steward’s living room for an exercise class. While they were toning, they tossed around the idea of The Tonettes.
From there, the women quickly agreed to wear matching outfits inspired by the 1940s.
“I’ve always been obsessed with that era,” Schaeffer said. “It was classy and the essence of feminine.”
To learn more about The Tonettes or schedule them to sing at an event, go to http://www.thetonettes.com.