Mixing jazz with contemporary pop songs is Australian trio, ‘The Three Sisters’. Helenmarie talks to Midlifexpress about musical genres, performing with her siblings and using Skype to learn song and dance routines.
How would you describe your performance and singing style?
We began by singing a lot of musical theatre based music and have evolved to include more contemporary songs that are sung in a jazz/swing style. We try to do a variety of music in our concerts and love to add in dancing and a bit of silly banter.
How do you do the musical arrangement from pop songs to jazz style?
My older sister, Cassandra, does much of the work here. She has a great music program (that I have also used) which can take the music from a song and arrange it into a music style of your choice. It still requires a fair amount of work and a great deal of musical knowledge to get it all happening, but the songs are a lot of fun to sing and a real highlight for the audience.
Who are your musical influences?
A really tough question! We have always loved musical theatre and have performed in musicals from a young age (and still do!). We do have fairly eclectic tastes however, for our personal music listening. When choosing songs to sing though, we usually stick to music that is already popular or that has personal meanings for us.
Have you always been a trio?
We have always sung together. Our mother (Pat Desmond) was always singing and performing and encouraged us to do so as well. We have a younger brother who also sings (we keep trying to convince him to come and sing with us now!). When our mum passed away suddenly 5 years ago, the three of us decided that we needed to do more of what she loved together. All three of us sing individually as well. The hardest part of it is that Cassandra and Carolyn both live in Victoria while I am here in Tasmania. Most of our rehearsal is done via Skype and videos!
Who decides on dance styles, costumes and songs?
We all decide together. My younger sister, Carolyn, has a great deal of dancing/choreography experience, so she does much of the dancing side of things – Cassandra and Carolyn will often get together and record the routines and send them to me to learn – most of our concerts are prepared this way with only a day or so together to make sure everything works! Songs are chosen by discussion and negotiation – the same with our outfits!
What song is the audience favourite
With our recent music (contemporary songs in a jazz style) favourites have been Single Ladies, Britney Mash Up and You’re the Voice. People also love hearing songs that they can sing along to, so Xanadu goes down well!
What is planned for the future (overseas, interstate)?
As many performances as we can manage! As we live so far apart, getting together when we are all available can be difficult. However, we would love to break into the corporate market and perform more around Australia. At the end of the day we get to do two things we love when we perform together – sing and be together. Any opportunity to do that is always welcomed with enthusiasm!
The Three Sisters perform around Australia. For further details you can find them on Facebook.