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Christmas Coffee House singer surprises crowd
Grade 9 student Kaylee Seward steals the show at annual event

Shawn Giilck
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, December 12, 2013

If the popular television show The Voice comes to the Arctic Circle any time soon, there's at least one candidate that should be a lock.

NNSL photo/graphic

Kaylee Seward stole the show at the annual Christmas Coffeehouse event at East Three school Dec. 4 with her soaring, powerful and evocative voice. - Shawn Giilck/NNSL photo

Kaylee Seward, a Grade 9 student at East Three Secondary School, was one of the participants in the annual Christmas Coffee House event at the school Dec. 4.

She stole the show with her powerhouse, evocative voice that no one seemed to be expecting.

"It's kind of hard to explain," the student, when asked after the show where that voice came from.

"I guess it came from a little girl who just wanted to be noticed," Seward said.

"Singing has been a really important fact in my life. I think it's kept me going when times were hard, and there wasn't anyone really there."

So far as she can remember, Seward started singing around "the age of five or six.

"I just couldn't stop after that," she said. "I would like to say I've always had it (the voice). Personally, I think I did, but I think I've changed my voice dramatically over the years."

She's a country and pop music fan, which pretty much covers all the basics.

"The things that I hear that get stuck in my head, I'll remember, I'll rehearse and then I'll go sing it."

She doesn't often perform live at events, like the coffee house, Seward said, which is likely why she took so many people off guard with those powerful pipes.

"I really don't get much time to perform and such, so I do it whenever I can," Kaylee said.

She said she's interested in pursuing a career in singing eventually, but has no firm plans.

East Three Secondary School principal Deb Maguire called the coffeehouse a major success.

She said the attendance was up from 2012, which was her first year in Inuvik.

The event is organized annually to showcase the talent that's available at the school.

Maguire, along with a number of other school staff, took to the stage to perform some Christmas classics as a choir that also surprised people with its sound. Teacher Eric Church stole that performance by whooping it up and dancing for the audience.

Another highlight that received considerable applause was Emily Rutherford's rendition of Silent Night. Her high, crystalline voice soared in the seasonal standard.

It's an indication of the talent that sometimes goes unappreciated here in town, several audience members agreed.

The proceeds from the show went to the East Three Exploration Club, which is hoping to take a group of students to visit post-secondary schools in the Yukon and British Columbia next spring.

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