It was much more than a trip back to my youth – Glenn Miller and The Andrews Sisters and World War II. It was an afternoon of genuine entertainment presented by three very talented young women from Vacaville, The Honeybee Trio.
Natalie Angst, Karli Bosler and Sarah McElwain have been performing as a trio almost six years, since they were just 12 and 13. Now 17, 18 and 19, the trio is preparing for a tour of Japan. They even sang a song to us in Japanese.
With 1940s music, one would expect an audience of old-timers. You would have been right. I was there. When I looked around, I saw a sea of white hair and bald heads (like mine). It was a trip back in time for us “old-timers.” I could hear folks around me singing along with the Honeybees, songs that only old-timers would know. I was doing it myself. To tell the truth, a couple of times I caught myself singing out so loud that I was embarrassed, but no one noticed. It was really about how much music and memory go together.
I should say that each of the young women is a genuine talent. They each sang a number for us and it was just great. My friend Brad Ritch took a picture of me with the young women, which wasn’t good enough for a newspaper, but good enough for my book of memories.
The girls will soon be off on their tour of Japan. Then they will be parting for a while: One on an 18-month missionary assignment in Singapore for her Mormon church. Another will be the lead singer for the Glenn Miller Band on a world tour. Someone told me the band will make 35 appearances in the next year. The 17-year-old said, “I will be finishing high school.”
Is that the end of The Honeybee Trio? I don’t think so. They all said they would perform together whenever they have a chance, but they recognized that chances would not come very often.
If you have the opportunity to see and hear The Honeybee Trio on one of those rare occasions, do it. You won’t regret it. It’s great music and great fun. One day, I’d like them to perform at a fundraiser for the Tools of Learning for Children nonprofit. That may be wishful thinking, but I’d get to see and hear them once more.
The top of the afternoon was their performance of Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America.” Written in 1918, it still expresses the heart of America. It evoked a memory of Kate Smith when the young women sang these introductory lyrics:
“While the storm clouds gather, far across the sea,
“Let us swear allegiance, to a land that’s free,
“Let us all be grateful, for a land so fair,
“As we raise our voices, in a solemn prayer.”
Then 300 voices sang “God Bless America.” It was goose bumps for me.
On a related topic, The Honeybee Trio performed at the “new” theater at the Kroc Center in Suisun City. It’s a first-class facility with a capacity of about 300, which is about right for local theater groups. I think it’s better than the Fairfield Center for Creative Arts.
The theater is used as a chapel for The Salvation Army’s Sunday services. The sign over the entrance says “chapel,” so maybe it is a chapel first, then a theater.
It was a good place to be with The Honeybee Trio.
Reach Murray Bass at 427-0744 or [email protected]