They did not have a long career when they first started but they stayed in touch and were able to get back together for one last performance — three-and-a-half decades later.
Five young women got together in 1981 because they liked to sing and harmonize. They formed the Chicklets and sang the music of the ’50s and ’60s because it lent itself to those harmonies.
They got together again last weekend for the 35th anniversary of the Midsummer Music Festival and were able to once again entertain our ears with those melodious tunes that they first tried so long ago.
They had not done anything musically prior to that but started singing together to join a talent contest at the then Smithers Hotel. And they did not do badly — they did not win any single category, they won the whole, hands down according to Barb Bawlf, one of the group members.
Bawlf said that that was their first public performance.
“We sang together a few more times after that. We sang in a bluegrass festival and as an opening act for a band called Six Cylinder, but we haven’t sung together until this past week,” she said.
Bawl said that she got the idea about getting the group back together because of the 35th anniversary of the festival.
“It was my idea to bring the group back together because it was the 35th anniversary of the Midsummer festival. I brought together the people from all over the province. I phoned them all and emailed them and asked them about a year ago if they wanted to do it and they all agreed,” she said.
There were three people from the local area and Hazelton, and the others were from other parts of the province.
“We were going to try to do some practise by Skype or some other kind of technology, but that was too complicated so we agreed to meet a week before the festival and we’ve been rehearsing about four-five hours a day since Monday for five days in a row,” she said.
Some of the members have had vocal training with voice coaches. For example, Jane Fearing is a teacher of voice, piano and choirs, while Bawlf has had vocal training from Jennifer Scott, who is a jazz singer and teacher. Bawlf and Ricki Kneifel have sung in local performances and the Smithers Sing in May.
At this time, the group has no plans for any additional performances as some had planned on returning to their present homes following the festival.