Shante' Van Horlick
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Shante' Van Horlick

Prince George, British Columbia, Canada | SELF

Prince George, British Columbia, Canada | SELF
Band Classical Adult Contemporary


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The best kept secret in music


"Sing, Sing a song"

Two local teens sang at Carnegie Hall recently. They were two of five Canadians chosen to participate as part of a massive choir during the American High School Honours Performance Series on June 26.

Seamus Hogan, 18, and Shante Van Horlick, 16, attended the event after vocal teacher and choral director Jaclyn Riemer was invited to have students audition for the opportunity to attend the event.

There were 191 members of the choir who came together for five days of rehearsal before performing six pieces during one show.

"There was everything from Bach to the Lion King - they covered many different genres," said Riemer.

The teens said the experience was a bit overwhelming at times.

"To be part of this humongous sound is so overpowering," said Van Horlick. "So much was going on. It was really wonderful to part of the choir."

"Carnegie Hall was awesome," said Hogan. "Watching the extravagance of 191 people singing - the sound - just wow - it was so amazing."

Hogan and Van Horlick had the opportunity to work with world-renowned choral director Dr. Eph Ehly.

"He is the best director on the face of the Earth," said Hogan. "Next to Jaclyn, of course!"

The teens explained Dr. Ehly brought back the basics of performing, like facial expressions and a general enthusiasm for everything the choir did.

"Stand up with enthusiasm," said Hogan. "You have to live it - be excited to stand up."

Both Hogan and Van Horlick will be pursuing educations in music in the future.

Hogan will be attending the South Western Community College in Creston, Iowa in the fall on a full scholarship he was awarded during the Rocky Mountain Festival where the Bel Canto Choirs showcased their talents in Banff earlier this year.

"Seamus was awarded the largest scholarship offered to the students during the festival," said Riemer. "After he completes two years at the college in Iowa, he can then continue his studies at UBC for his degree in music."

Van Horlick and Hogan will be taking their Grade 9 Royal Conservatory of Music voice exam next June and Van Horlick will then audition for a variety of music schools.

"Because the quality of their voices is so great, both of my students will be accepted anywhere they wish to apply," said Riemer. "This is what they do. There are children that box, some play sports and this is what they do - they sing."

The American High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall was established to showcase some of the most talented student performers in high school today. Through an individual nomination and selection process, accomplished students are brought together in New York City with peers to comprise the Honors Choir and Honors Instrumental Ensembles. A Juilliard School seminar and several days of rehearsal under the direction of our renowned music conductors culminate in a life-changing performance at Carnegie Hall. Carnegie Hall represents excellence in musical performance, making it the perfect venue for the Honors Performance Series to showcase its student performers. June 26
- Prince George Citizen


The name of Shanté's debut album is "Miracle." Aptly named as through years of vocal training, national anthems at Western Hockey League games, regional vocal competitions, singing spirituals in front of 5,000 people or classics at elders' centers, then a year of studio work; a miracle has come to pass. How sweet it sounds. Shanté has compiled 10 songs on this, her first album, that reach across her musical tastes and aptitudes, from the hopeful angst of rebel poet Cyndi Lauper to the imploring disco pulses of Real Life to the classical gems her parents used to softly play her to sleep with. "I really wanted this," said Shanté after the album sessions wrapped. "I never quit. I always keep going even when the road has spikes on it." The album was produced by Canadian studio helmsman Mike Callewaert (Simon Collins, Carolan, Nudge), who also contributes a song and some of the instrumentation. He brought in Denton Whitehead and Marc Rogers (both of The Philosopher Kings) to lay the rhythm foundation Shanté's vocals sit upon. Session players Henry Novak (accordion), Paul Forster (keyboards, etc.) and Tripe Pillowmint (balalaika) also added their talents. Going into her first pro recording experience, Shanté still had the innocent remembrance of a Christmas CD she made of her singing that was given out as a gift to family and friends when she was a small child already striving to be a singer. "I was nine and it was just for fun," she said. "That was all hum-dee-humm-humm and it was done and that is what I thought this would be like. Silly me. It was so not that way. It was a lot of hard work, it was tough, it was down to business." She described it as being a full circle experience of sorts. "The first day I walked into the studio, the recording centre was a room with a microphone and a bunch of instruments and a big window between me and Mike. I had never seen that before. You talk to each other through microphones and headsets, the whole room is soundproof, you sing to tracks played through your headphones, the producer's room is filled with computers and huge speakers and a big soundboard. It was such a cool experience." If she sounds just a tad naive, perhaps it is time to mention that Shanté's birthday is September 2, 1993. This, her first album, was in the can while she was still 12 years old. She loves Charlotte Church, Sarah Brightman and Celine Dion whom she went to see perform in Las Vegas during Spring Break '06 where the diva singled her out in the audience for a special wave. Shanté seems destined to thrive in the world of music. Her name itself is an eastern chant and translates as "beyond tears and laughter, peace and serenity" in Tibetan. Phonetically in French it literally means "to sing." Knowing all this now, it is easy to imagine Shanté's claim on the word "Miracle." What is hard to imagine is Shanté giving up before the whole world has heard her sing with her supernatural beauty. Miracle indeed. Shanté indeed. - Citizen


Still working on that hot first release.



Shante van Horlick is 17 years old. Although, classically trained she is accomplished in many musical genres. Her latest international performance was Carnegie Hall as part of the American Honors performance series. Shante’s dream is to become Canada’s foremost female crossover singer.