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Scarletta Coming To Lerner Theater

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Emilee Allan, of Edwardsburg, returns to The Lerner Theatre's stage with country music band Scarletta

Scarletta, which was named one of Billboard’s top 10 country artists to watch, will play at The Lerner Theatre Thursday, Sept. 18. 


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Emilee Allan stepped to the front of the crowd in a smoky bar on karaoke night, and the fear set in. She was a maybe a little bit too young for the spotlight and the scene. But grandpa came to the rescue, though maybe not in the way you’d expect.

Joe Cronin joined her at the mic. He started singing. Of all things, it was a Shania Twain song. And Emilee joined in and knocked it out.

Behind That Curtain is a community blog for The Elkhart Truth written by Trevor Wendzonka, the marketing manager for The Lerner Theatre and SoMa.

“Grandpa saw something in me when I was really young,” says Allan, now the personable and carefree lead singer of Scarletta, which will perform Thursday night, Sept. 18, at Elkhart’s Lerner Theatre. “He and my grandma used to babysit me, but I was a mama’s girl through and through, and I didn’t like being away from her.

“One day, grandpa bought me my first karaoke machine, and from then on, I was comfortable there and loved going over. He’d sing Shania songs all the time – he was so great about it.”

Growing up as Emily Woodill in Edwardsburg, Allan always wanted a career in music. Thanks to the encouragement of her dad, David, she started making connections and set off for Nashville. One valuable connection turned out to be Preston Brust of the LoCash Cowboys – while the name and the group might not be familiar, he collaborated in writing “You Gonna Fly,” a No. 1 hit for Keith Urban in 2011.

Brust called Allan to see if she was interested in trying out as a vocalist for Benji Harris and Nathan Stoops in Scarletta.

“I hadn’t talked with Preston for a year when he called me out of the blue. He said these guys really need a singer - I literally met them on a Tuesday, rehearsed on Wednesday and went on the road with them Thursday,” Allan says. “By Sunday, after three shows, they said I could have the job if I wanted it.

Scarletta: Top Nashville Trio

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If you haven’t already heard of the Nashville, Tennessee country/rock band Scarletta, you soon will. Scarletta is comprised of three ultra-talented individuals that all bring their own unique expertise and style to their specific role within the top rated trio.

During Scarletta’s performances Benji Harris, Nathan Stoops, and Emilee Allan combine hair-raising harmonies and unforgettable hooks. Benji is an accomplished bandleader who blends his lead vocals as effortlessly as his harmonies. Nathan is a classically trained violist that brings a flare to country music that makes him one of the best fiddle players in all of Nashville. And, Emilee is the spark plug that is the lead singer and dynamic centerpiece of the band.

For the last 2 years, Scarletta has been a Nashville mainstay working with Grammy Award-winning producer Blake Chancey. Their first single to country radio, “Right Here Right Now,” reached number 28 on the Music Row Radio Chart. The band is coming off an amazing 2013 in which the trio was the “Spotlight on the 615″ artist of the week for the week of January 9th on and was honored to be chosen as a Billboard Magazine “615 Top 10 Artists to Watch.” Additionally, they also received a very similar acknowledgement from CMA as the organization chose them as a CMA Close Up “Artist to Watch for 2013″ and was profiled in the February/March issue of CMA Closeup.

In this edition of The Creative Spotlight, I had the pleasure of conducting an in-depth interview with Benji Harris, Nathan Stoops, and Emilee Allan of Scarletta and asking then a few questions about their musical influences, their passion for music, their Nashville experience, and their new CD release of Rocking Chair View.

Q&A Session

The Creative Spotlight: After meeting in Nashville, how did you come up with Scarletta as the name of the band?

Scarletta: Benji and Nathan met in a studio session in Nashville in 2009. Soon after their meeting, they began working together as a songwriting/production team, helping various artists in Nashville make their records. They became good friends and their musical chemistry was undeniable. Nathan was encouraged to start a band by veteran Nashville songwriter Kris Bergness, and naturally Nathan’s first call was to Benji. Benji was onboard with the idea, and they began to write songs together with Kris. They were then introduced to Emilee Allan through Nashville country duo The LoCash Cowboys. Emilee was excited to join the band and she became the perfect addition to what the guys had going on. Benji came up with the name “Scarletta” which was not inspired by anything in particular… They knew they wanted a one-word band name that sounded mysterious and edgy. They wanted to be able to define the word with their music.

Read more: Scarletta: Top Nashville Trio

Scarletta to perform free concert in Kuhlman Court

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The country outfit will bring twang and tender songs to MU.

By Patrick McKenna

For up-and-coming performers, a relaxed, outdoor concert always seems to come naturally. The music is crafted simply, and the sound rarely seems forced. For Nashville’s up-and-coming country outfit Scarletta, these kinds of shows are something the group is entirely familiar with.

“It’s a totally different playing field,” guitarist Benji Harris says. “People have picnics. It’s got that festival feeling. People like to relax and have fun, so it’s awesome to provide that kind of entertainment.”

The group will bring their back-porch, sing-along country sound to MU, performing a Student Unions Programming Board-sponsored free concert Thursday in Kuhlman Court. The group was included in Billboard’s “10 (Country) Artists to Watch in 2013,” showing its effortless harmonies were received well.

Read more: Scarletta to perform free concert in Kuhlman Court