Big band vocalists host Veterans Memorial Parkway benefit

2012-08-09T19:15:00Z 2012-08-10T10:29:09Z Big band vocalists host Veterans Memorial Parkway benefitBy Tim Shellberg Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
August 09, 2012 7:15 pm  • 

For more than a half dozen years, the three vocalists of String of Pearls have wowed audiences with their renditions of big band era favorites and pitch–perfect harmonies.

And according to Pearl Jessica Metros, the harmony between her and her fellow songbirds continues offstage.

"There has never been a cross word between the three of us. Ever," she said. "No one ever argues about who gets the solos because the sound is just so beautiful that it's accepted."

Scheduled to perform a "Sentimental Journey" for the Veterans Memorial Parkway on Sunday at Munster High School's Munster Auditorium, Metros and her fellow Pearls — Linda Skidmore and Gail Brown — have each been singing professionally since they were youngsters and are active in both the religious and secular music stratas.

The seeds for String of Pearls were sewn in 2006, when Metros, who resides in Hobart, called upon Crown Point's Skidmore, to sing alongside her for a live big band performance. Finding success as a duo, Metros and Skidmore added Brown, who also resides in Crown Point, to the lineup.

In addition to benefiting the parkway, String of Pearls is saluting area veterans at their Munster Auditorium show. The trio, Metros said, sent invitations to are VFW and American Legion halls to their show.

The results of their vocal blend, Metros recalled, was instantaneous.

"It couldn't have been three notes out our mouths, doing a song called 'Sentimental Journey,' and we all looked at each other and went 'Oh, this is good.," she recalled.

Over the years, String of Pearls has wowed crowds throughout the region with 30s and 40s favorites such as "Journey," "Chattanooga Choo–Choo," "My Buddy" and "I'll Never Smile Again." They have also performed throughout the country and, approximately two years after forming, were flown to Nashville to audition for "America's Got Talent."

"Our blend is indistinguishable," Metros said. "You can't tell whose singing what part. I don't know if it's because we're three ladies in our 50s and it's just taken that long to learn how to do it right or not, but I believe that's what special about the music that we present."

"It's an entity that ties the communities together via the heartbeat of the wonderful things that the veterans have done for us," Metros said of the parkway. "(The concert is) an opportunity for us to reach out and raise awareness for the parkway coupled with the veterans organizations that just do so much for our veteran community."

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