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Local talent shares musical journey

The Journey Into Christmas, held over two days Nov. 22 & 23 at The Performing Arts Theatre of Hinton, included a performance from Charmaine Stinson.
Masha Scheele Photo

Masha Scheele

All but one local artist returned for the second night of Journey Into Christmas, a production that showcased Hinton’s talent in two music-filled nights.

Instead of preparing to sing O Holy Night and Where Are You Christmas? for the second time on Saturday, Nov. 23, Charmaine Stinson packed up and drove down to Vernon, BC for another type of performance.

In Vernon, she sang in a workshop hosted by Frédérik Robert, one of Canada’s top vocal coaches. Robert is originally from a small community in Alberta and now works for the Vancouver Academy of Music.

Alongside many of Robert’s accomplishments he has coached singers for TV and film including Disney and the show Motherland: Fort Salem.

“We each sang for him and then he spent about half an hour with each student and we all learned together,” said Stinson about the experience.

“He really works on helping you to have more strength in your singing without increasing the sound. His whole thing is that you don’t have to be louder to be better.”

Stinson believes that ongoing training is extremely important for success in any craft at any level.

She added that if she finds a workshop that is within eight hours of her home, she will always try to attend it and that there is always something to learn from a new teacher or workshop.

“Frédérik Robert, the man is an incredible teacher and to be able to spend time with him is a privilege and a very unique opportunity,” said Stinson.

Stinson explained some of the techniques she learned from him to further project her voice and credited her choir teacher in Hinton, Christina Oliver, for using similar techniques.

“Christina Oliver also teaches the choir to do this too. I give Christina some credit that way because she has some strengths in teaching as well,” said Stinson.

Stinson began her vocal training seven years ago with Melina Moore of Valley Vocal Arts and Big Apple Productions, when she lived in Vernon. Even though she moved to Hinton around four years ago, she is still involved in Valley Vocal Arts and often returns to Vernon to attend vocal workshops.

“I’ve done a few auditions in the Okanagan and I always come back and realize how well I’ve been trained by Melina Moore. Melina Moore really is the catalyst in my music and the strengths of my singing and how I started,” said Stinson.

Before Stinson started vocal training, the most singing she did was in her own home, singing along to music. Now, she’s performed on multiple stages, been part of theatre productions, and took on a small role in an independent film called Red Tomatoes.

She claims that singing also opened up doors into the world of acting, she’s played a part in the series I’ll Keep You Safe, as well as short films Remember Me and Without Mime or Reason.

She continues to be passionate about performing and actively pursuing and participating in as many opportunities as possible.

Going forward, her goals are to find a new agent for representation in film and tv and to audition for roles in music, musical theatre, and acting that allow her to be a stage performer, a place she said she truly loves to be.