The Voice Within
By Cherelle Evelyn on September 22 2014
(Photo Credits: James Doyle) In speaking with Erika Callewaert, it’s difficult not to see her path laid out as a movie montage.
First, picture a mini Erika, whose head barely reaches the top of a piano working through classical voice lessons. Next, Erika is a young teenager who has left classical behind to train in more contemporary fare with Dawn Boudreau. Erika strikes out on her own, attending Nelson’s Selkirk College where a voice teacher – coincidentally, named Melody – discovers that Erika’s softer folk stylings are masking a booming belt, yearning to be free.
But just when Erika finds this magical voice, tragedy strikes. Swollen vocal cords mean the fledging singer is on vocal rest for two months, right as exam time hits. Thankfully, everything rights itself and Erika finds herself auditioning to front a classic rock ensemble, not really believing in her ability to pull it off, but determined to try only to have the moxie pay off. Post-graduation with a diploma in voice/performance in hand, Erika returns home and begins molding young voices and performers as a teacher herself. But her story doesn’t fade to black there. “Music is really calming. It makes sense,” Erika said, who has recently made the switch from teaching at Long & McQuade to the new Dreamland School of the Arts. Erika has been pounding the pavement, making doors open for herself as a singer.
With a voice that’s a solid mixture of country and blues, Erika is taking to stages at local venues such as Nancy O’s, Shiraz and the Prince George Farmers’ Market. Beginning Sept. 10, Erika will also complete a minimum four-week run of live music at Coach’s Corner. Visit Erika’s artist Facebook page (facebook.com/erikamichellecallewaert) for up-to-date information about her shows.
REPORTER FOR THE PRINCE GEORGE CITIZEN
Journalist, west coast native, music lover. Made in Canada.