VACAVILLE — For the past four years, The Honeybee Trio stuck together like honey to a honeycomb.
That will change soon, as two of the three members – Karli Bosler and Natalie Angst – are high school seniors. Sarah McElwain is in her junior year.
“It’s strange to think we are going into a different phase,” said Amy McElwain, Sarah’s mother. The group began performing together in junior high. Bosler and Angst got to Will C. Wood High School a year before McElwain. Now, she’ll remain there another year as her fellow singers head off to college.
While the three plan to keep performing together, it’s harder to get together. On Sunday afternoon, Bosler joined an interview by phone while Angst and McElwain were seated next to each other in the McElwain home.
Their effort is now focused on two performances of “Leaving Our Hearts at Home: A Valentine’s Celebration” at the Opera House in Vacaville.
The young women have done much of the behind-the-scenes work themselves. That, coupled with the venue, is very exciting to Bosler. “We all love the Opera House,” she said.
There’s also a bittersweet side.
“This could be one our last big shows in Vacaville,” Bosler said.
She’s looking at attending Brigham Young University in Utah. Angst is thinking about schools in Southern California. Neither is committed to a college at this point and where they enroll could play a part in how often The Honeybee Trio can perform.
Bosler and Angst had performed duets together before forming the group. A music teacher familiar with all three of the girls brought McElwain into the fold for what was supposed to be one show.
The Honeybee Trio snowballed and have been doing 50 to 60 gigs the past few years. While many of them have been on the West Coast, the young women will venture to Iowa this summer for the Glenn Miller Festival.
The group sticks to Big Band music and dons costumes from the era. Each member has about nine costumes. At the February show, they will each change once.
“When I put on one of those dresses, I feel good in it,” McElwain said. “I feel like I’m about to perform.”
Red nails, lipstick and similar hairstyles are part of the package, too.
“We have all gotten a lot better, including the time it takes to get ready,” Angst said. “Getting ready is a big part of the show.”
McElwain said it would “be weird” not having her fellow trio members at school with her.
“I’ve lived with them basically the last four years,” she said. The show next weekend, she thinks will be surreal.
“This is the first big show the three of us have organized,” she said. “I feel proud of us.”
She hopes to make music her career, planning to major in jazz studies.
Angst will miss the frequency of seeing Bosler and McElwain, but also believes absence makes the heart grow fonder.
“I think we’ll appreciate each other more,” she said.
Her career plans are running the gamut from marketing to being a chemist who makes makeup.
The Honeybee Trio just released its fourth CD in December. As they contemplate their future, the three have plenty of memories of being together on and off stage.
“So many things have happened,” Amy McElwain said. “They have performed for a four-star general.”
Last year, they performed in Alameda when the United States Coast Guard cutter Stratton was commissioned. Afterward, they were able to shake hands with First Lady Michelle Obama, who attended.
It’s been an amazing ride, Angst said.
“The Honeybees changed my life. So many amazing things have come out of it,” she said.
“I’m grateful for everything,” Sarah McElwain said. “Looking back, it has taught us good life lessons, even though we may not have realized it at the time.”
“It really turned into something different than we expected,” Amy McElwain said. “We have met so many incredible people. But the first people were the people in the community of Vacaville. ”
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.