Christmas coffee house lineup rounding into shape

Local talent steps up for food bank fundraiser

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Likely most of you have never heard of a group called ‘The One-Take Wonders.’ It’s just one of the names on a list of coffee house performers announced last week by Stage North, for a Dec. 11 event being organized along with the Slave Lake Rotary Club.

“The old-style coffee house is coming back, if we have anything to say about it!” said Ellen Criss last week, who represents (as far as we know) both the Rotary and Stage North.

By ‘old-style,’ she refers to a time back in the 1990s and 2000s (possibly even earlier) when local talent performed at the Walter Twinn Theatre – often to a packed house. Sometimes money was raised for a good cause, and more often than not, a fine time was had by all.

Sometimes, it has to be admitted, the sound at those coffee houses was not very good. No fears on that score this time around. Stage North has the connections to make sure of that.

“We are so fortunate to have a professional technician on our contact list,” Criss said. His name is Mike Brazeau and his work was seen (or heard) recently at the town council candidates’ forum, back in October.

Getting back to the performers, Criss says the One Take Wonders is a group of musical folks who perform weekly (and remotely) at St. Peter’s Ecumenical Church. They’ll be doing some Christmas-type songs. Likely Bill Criss will accompany on drums, Ellen on piano and maybe Neil Deas on bass.

Otherwise, Shane Rebryna plays piano and sings, as does Madison Mitchell. Skylar Hill plays french horn. Eric McWilliams is doing a set, probably of original songs. Tanner Mouallem (drummer for a couple of local bands) is also on the performers’ list. Also on the list are Lisa Wilson and Kadi Engler.

Criss said there’s no plan to add more, but there are other possibilities, should an act withdraw.

Profits from the coffee house, if any, will go to either the local food bank or Santas Anonymous program.

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