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Being in (the group) L.U.V.

July 28, 2000

Being in (the group) L.U.V.



L.U.V.By KERRY LYNN FRALEY / Staff Writer

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer

Sitting together talking about how they became a group, the three members of L.U.V. - Jewel Poston, Amber Quivers and Shalena Wedlock - sound like typical 15-year-olds.

They talk excitedly, chiming in with comments, additions and corrections to what another is saying.

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But you could easily forget they're teens when you hear those voices meld in song. Years of singing with church choirs and school choruses have honed the talent each possesses.

Working as a group under the auspices of Cumberland Valley School of Music and director Elizabeth Salter since January has matured them as a group.

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The trio has performed several times as a CVSM group, most recently at CELEBRATE! the Arts at Old Market Day in Chambersburg on Saturday, July 15.

They sing all kinds of music, a cappella and with accompaniment, but favor gospel.

"That's where it all started, church, where we were singing," said Jewel, who is also an accomplished classical pianist, and plays the violin and alto sax.

"We've got that gospel voice," agrees Amber, who plays piano and violin, but put them on hold to pursue another love, sports.

Jewel, Amber and Shalena will enter 10th grade at Chambersburg Area Senior High School this fall.

Shalena and Amber have been singing together since age 8, when they made a recording of "Best Friends" at an amusement park booth and were bowled over by the positive response they got from people who heard them.

But the trio didn't realize there was magic in blending their voices until they were in sixth grade.

Each remembers a slightly different version of the day that year when Jewel, Amber, Shalena and classmate D'lisa Duncan - who has since left the group - were hanging around the music teacher's room and tried an a cappella version of "Lean On Me."

They remember it made them want to keep singing together.

"We'd never sung with each other. We didn't know we had that," Amber said.

The impromptu quartet performed for each music teacher after that.

Last year, they went to Salter, who is also the ninth grade chorus and music teacher at Faust Junior High School, and asked her about performing a spotlight number in the Christmas concert.

She helped the girls put together an a cappella version of "The First Noel."

Their performance caught the ear of Salter's aunt, Paula Hepfer, co-founder of CVSM and program director.

"I was real impressed, and I saw the potential to have a group that could actually do programs, go out into the community," Hepfer said. "One of our missions is to respond to talent. It was clearly, clearly there."

The school took the group on as part of a grant program through the Chambersburg Community Improvement Association to foster musical talent in minority and low-income young people, she said.

L.U.V. members said it's been a great opportunity to perform in the community and work with Salter in fostering a professional sound.

"I like to be seen and be out and be heard," Jewel said.

Jewel plans to have a music career, if not singing professionally then playing piano, teaching or accompanying other musicians.

Amber would like to make it big as a singer but has a backup plan of becoming a lawyer and entering politics. She has her sites on a governorship and, ultimately, the presidency.

Shalena would also like to be a professional singer, but her backup plan is to be a beautician.

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