grace wandering

grace wandering

BandFolkA Capella

A fresh sound: folk meets choral meets alternative meets accapella. An effortless mash of diverse genres. A tight vocal blend like none another. Songs that move.


Karla, Liz, and Sarah met in London, Ontario, where they each completed Honours Bachelor of Music degrees at The University of Western Ontario, sang together in the women’s choir Project Sing!, feasted at many a potluck, and drank many a latte. One day in the summer of 2008, as they sifted and sang through piles of well-loved choral scores while munching farm-fresh produce from Karla’s family market, a trio was born. The name grace wandering, evoking an image of woman on a journey, combines the concept of grace (safety, security, home, love) with the notion of wandering (searching, uncertainty, questioning).

Each vocalist brings a unique musical background to the group, including one heck of a lot of classical training. Aiming to explore the boundaries of their voices while singing high quality, meaningful, and beautiful music in tight harmony, their unconventional palette of repertoire features many of Sarah’s original compositions and unique covers, including vocal covers of non-vocal music. Important musical influences include The Wailin’ Jennys, Chic Gamine and Rajaton.

Sarah Quartel, born and raised in London, ON, first started composing as a child when the hum of her mother’s clothes dryer inspired her to sing along. She has since expanded her repertoire and her compositions have been in demand with folk and pop artists, choral and instrumental ensembles and soloists throughout Canada and in Europe.
Her music is supported by the Ontario Arts Council, recorded on numerous CDs, performed by such groups as Rajaton and Nathaniel Dett Chorale and published with Lighthouse Music Publications. Sarah is a proud and committed music educator at Sparta Public School, Ontario.

Karla Dickieson grew up on a farm just outside of Guelph, ON. She began singing in choirs at the age of 10, and has sung with the Guelph Youth Singers, Ontario Youth Choir, Woodstock Fanshawe Singers and Project Sing! After completing her music performance degree, she pursued a one-year Performance Diploma, where she focused on art song and opera repertoire. She has a special interest in contemporary works, and the use of the voice in experimental ways. In addition to opera, Karla brings a passion for country music to the group; she especially loves to sing with the live band at the Maryhill Commercial Tavern on open jam night.

Liz Mitchell, who grew up in Ottawa, ON, began piano lessons at the age of 6, and singing in choirs soon after that. Her early childhood love for music was such that her mother needed to strategize ways to get her to STOP practicing. After her music education studies at Western, she moved to Waterloo to pursue her masters degree in music therapy at Wilfrid Laurier University. Still living in Waterloo, Liz works as a music therapist at Lutherwood with youth with mental health issues, as a part-time faculty member at Wilfrid Laurier University, and has a private piano and voice studio. She also holds an ARCT in piano performance, and is passionate about choral singing.



Written By: Sarah Quartel

I am Songbird, I will sing anything.
Give me a tune I will spin you gold.
Closer you come to the Songbird weaving,
Stronger the thread of the music's hold.
Feel in the breeze a breath,
A soaring song to you,
And hear me say,
I am a Songbird, I will sing anything,
Follow the breeze and come my way!

One little bird on a branch sits fanning amber wings to the passers by.
Two little birds in flight are threading webs of gold in an endless sky.
Three little birds with brushes painting moonlit sighs in the height of day.
Four little birds with voices gleaming, breathe to the wind singing come my way!

Sing little birds so sweetly,
Drown my fears completely.

Five little birds with feathers fluffing stretch and spread in the midday sun.
Six little birds are cooing, humming, drawing the eyes of everyone.
Seven little birds in fountains splashing, droplets soar they fawn and play.
Eight little birds raise voices higher,
Breathe to the wind singing come my way!

Sing little birds so sweetly,
Drown my fears completely.

Fly little Songbirds,
To the horizon,
Land meets sky and sky meets sea.
Dance little Songbirds,
Flick your feathers,
Move the current carry me!
Sing little Songbirds,
Call to your lovers,
Draw them incompletely
You little Songbirds,
You can sing anything
I follow the wind and I come your way.

Sing to me of Home

Written By: Sarah Quartel

When all is said and done my friend,
And I'm still standing here.
The earth beneath my feet will warm,
And sing to me of home.
When in my joy I strain to hear,
A footstep on the path.
I'll turn to see a radiant beam,
Of sunlight passing over me,
And in that moment I can hear it
Sing to me of home.

Too often do I think that I must leave the home I love.
When children grow,
We're bound to go,
Believing that we must.

But when you have come and gone, my friend,
I'll still be standing here.
The earth beneath my feet will be,
The foundation of my harmony.
And when sunlight reaches over me,
I'll hear the song of home.
The land and sky I've come to love
Will sing to me of home.

Set List

1 set - approximately 40 minutes:

Songbird – Sarah Quartel
She Moved Through the Fair – Trad. Irish; Arr. J. Scott Brubacher
I Will Follow You Into the Dark (cover) – Death Cab for Cutie (Gibbard/Walla)
Green Shores of Fogo – Trad. Newfoundland; Arr. Stephen Hatfield
Frobisher Bay – James Gordon
Deeper Well (cover) – Daniel Lanois, David Olney, Emmylou Harris
Mad World (cover) – Tears for Fears (Roland Orzabal)
Crayola (cover) – Kristin Andreassen
Hide and Seek (cover) – Imogen Heap
All I Want is You (cover) - Barry Louis Polisar
Another Lonely Day (cover) – Ben Harper
Angel (cover) – Sarah MacLachlan
When it was Yet Dark – Stephen Hatfield
Long time Traveller (cover) – Trad; Arr. Wailin’ Jennys
Long Way from Home – Sarah Quartel
Sing to me of Home – Sarah Quartel