NEW TECUMSETH — The Sunday Concerts in the Park are happening again every weekend at Keogh Park in Tottenham.
The summer series is made possible with the involvement of local sponsors including the County of Simcoe and the Town of New Tecumseth Arts and Culture, CRIC, the BTBIA, the Tottenham Chamber of Commerce, and the Tottenham Legion. Local business sponsors include Budget Blinds, McGoey Bros Insurance, Helen Mabee, and Tottenham Home Hardware.
Singer-song writer Alyssa Tess started off the afternoon on Sunday, Aug. 15 with a performance featuring a mix of original music and cover tunes.
Growing up in Midland but now living in Midhurst, she considers herself a 'Georgian Bay' area girl.
Alyssa is no stranger to the stage, having started performing when she was just a child.
“I guess I started when I was around seven,” she explained of her start in music. “I performed in a local singing competition called 'Midland Idol.' I made it to the final round, which was wild because I sang the same two songs every round.
"I think if you ask my mom, she would say I was singing before I was talking. Then we had a family band where I was the singer and guitar player and my mom and brother were on the drums and piano.”
She started playing piano at five, then took an interest in guitar.
“I wanted to learn how to play guitar because it's one of those instruments you can pick up and take anywhere.”
At the age of 10, she began writing her own songs.
“I started taking guitar lessons, then gave up it up for two years,” Alyssa said. “It wasn't until I decided I wanted to be a street performer that I picked it up again, and I've been playing ever since. I've always liked performing.
"I started street performing when I was 14. I feel like that's a low-risk place to start – you just go on the street and sing to whoever is there. It is a little nerve racking because you never know who you're going to meet or if anyone is even going to care if you're there.”
She enjoys the whole songwriting process and says she usually is influenced by a strong emotion or something important that is happening in her life.
Alyssa said she is influenced by several different genres of music including folk, pop, and jazz, and enjoys playing them all.
She hopes to develop a career in the music industry.
“I just hope I can have a career where I'm writing songs and performing and making a living doing what I love,” she said.
Alyssa received a very enthusiastic response from the crowd when she took the stage.
The Concert Series continues this Sunday at 2 p.m.
Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative, New Tecumseth Times. The LJI is a federally funded program.