Stettler boasts a great musical heritage and culture and another shining performer has spread her musical talent from the heart.
Born with a passion for music, seasoned musician Belinda Saige recently recorded her first compact disk (CD) that will be unveiled at a release party on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. at Stettler Legion.
“I have been blessed with friends and family that have always supported and encouraged me and my music,” said Saige, who moved to Stettler about five years ago from Killam, after growing up in High Prairie and other areas in the Peace Country.
“My mother told me that when I started to talk, I began to sing,” Saige says.
For many years she has played song with a modern folk Celtic fusion.
“All of my songs have inner meanings for today,” said Saige.
“Although I have written for years, it was only recently that inspiration and those who believe in my creativity let down a drawbridge of opportunity and an invitation was extended to record and share this gift.”
She performs and records under Belinda Saige Productions and entertains at venues such as a steam train, lounges, coffee houses, seniors’ centres, schools, art walks and concerts in the park.
“Mindwalking no need for shoes, take any pathway that you choose.”
This is a line from one of the songs she wrote about life.
Performing for varied audiences, she has developed an eclectic repertoire of music and played for time with a bluegrass band.
“In truth, music influences me – I can appreciate the artistry of all genres.”
“I have always been surrounded by music,” said Saige, reflecting on special memories of getting together when family would harmonize with instruments and singing.
“Music is so much a part of who I am – music relaxes me and releases stress.”
Passion for music was planted in her at 12 years of age when her uncle gave her his old guitar with three chords.
“I can’t remember what brand it was but I do know the strings were very high off the fret board, said Saige.
“It was at that time that she got a strong desire to perform.
“I played that old guitar everyday and by the age of 15, I was packing my guitar to school so I could spend time playing music with other musicians during breaks.”
“My guitar still goes with me everywhere – although the (recent) modern instruments are much easier to play.”
She was influenced by her mother Darlene Drefs and Uncle Neil Lennie, who are both gifted musicians, while her father Ed Drefs also played the harmonica and sang.
“I was inspired by artists such as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Gordon Lightfoot, The Eagles, Neil Young, Sarah McLachlan, Enya, Loreena McKennitt, and the Rankin Family to mention a few.
Over her musical journey, Saige performed as an opening act for Iron Butterfly in Edmonton in the early 1970s for a crowd of about 3,500 after the promoter of the event picked her up while she was hitchhiking and was looking for musicians for the concert.
While in Vancouver for a time, she performed and lived on a ship for two weeks after the captain saw her sing on a beach and wanted some entertainment.
Hosting the CD release as Music from the Heart, Saige will be joined by colleagues Kurtis Drefs with The Rubber Band, Wayne Carstairs of Loose Change, Scott Pfeiffer of the Jazz Guys and Deborah and Terry Checkel of Lydian Blue and Bob Short on mandolin.