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Winsted native receives Canadian music award

March 16, 2009

By Linda Scherer
Staff Writer

WINSTED, MN – The song “Loving This Way” may well be on its way to becoming a number one hit on music charts after recently receiving the Upper Canadian music award for best arrangement and performance.

Called a country ballad by Connie Kappel-Sather, a 1985 Holy Trinity graduate who co-authored and sang the song with long-time friend Taylor England, the song is now being offered to a number of movie studios with hopes of having the song chosen as a theme for a movie – a drama, romance, or mystery.

“There are a lot of movie companies out there and if one says no, we are not giving up,” Kappel-Sather said.

The two began writing the song while they were in Canada the fall of 2005 on a grant they had received, which gave them the opportunity to work with well-known vocalist Josh Groban.

England and Kappel-Sather continued to work on the song for another year after they left Canada and just recently sent it to Vancouver for a chance to win the Canadian music award, which they received in January.

England went to Vancouver to receive the award, but Kappel-Sather, who was originally diagnosed with thyroid/lymphatic cancer in 2005, is now struggling once again from its effects.

The doctors told her that they did not think she should be traveling so she is waiting to receive her award at her home in downtown Minneapolis.

For the last two months, Kappel-Sather’s battle with cancer has become more of a challenge, and she is trying to keep busy so it doesn’t take over her life.

“Even when I am in the hospital, I am still working on music. You can only read so much and watch TV so much,” Kappel-Sather said.

Music has been important to her since she started playing the drums when she was just seven years old.

Her parents had bought her a drum set when she first started taking percussion lessons at Holy Trinity in fourth grade. They found the set through an ad in the paper.

“It was a 1964 premier drum set, navy blue. The kind the Beatles brought over,” Kappel-Sather said.

She still has the set, which is on display, but “nobody can touch it,” Kappel-Sather said. “I don’t think the guy that sold it had any idea of its value.”

Remembering her school days at Holy Trinity, Kappel-Sather said she had lots of opportunities to further her interest in music.

“When I played in the pep band, I started when I was 11 years old. We had about 60 people who played and we got tons of marching band awards,” Kappel-Sather said.

Of the 35 classmates that she graduated with, three of them are accomplished musicians today.

Mike Fasching, pianist, and Kappel-Sather played for all of the plays at Holy Trinity from seventh through 12th grade.

“I would sing and Mike would play the piano.”

When they were seniors, Fasching, Kappel-Sather, and Henry Weinbeck, who plays the trumpet, coronet, and flugelhorn, played together as part of jazz band two days a week.

Another classmate, John Gordon, has made a career as a popular sax player in New York.

“I would love to get the four of us together to play some day,” Kappel-Sather said.

After high school, she studied songwriting, theory, percussion, voice, and conducting at the University of Minnesota.

In the late ‘80s, she played with the well-known band, Drover, and the group encouraged her to sing in addition to playing the drums.

For Winstock 2005, Kappel-Sather played with the band, About Time.

At only 42 years old, Kappel-Sather has made adjustments to her music career because of the cancer.

She is focusing more on her singing, writing, and producing music and less on drumming and conducting.

She is currently working on a CD for her parents, Fran and Carol Kappel of Winsted, which she is very excited about.

The CD will have seven country songs popular in the ‘50s and ‘60s, which she plans to sing herself.

“Not many girls sang country in the late ‘50s and ‘60s. Most of the songs were recorded by men,” Kappel-Sather said.

She has arranged and sung three of the seven songs on the CD, and continues to work on the other four.

“There is always something to do in music,” Kappel-Sather said. “I am going to keep going until I can’t.”


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