carol balas

We would like to add our condolences to the sad news of Carols Balas passing and to publish a message sent out from a good friend.

Dear Friends of Carol

My name is Leo Levasseur, and I am the administrator of Carol's web page. It is with tremendous sadness that I report that Carol passed away this morning peacefully in her sleep after a long and courageous battle with breast cancer. If you purchased her latest cd, Swan Song, cherish it. 

She was a dear friend of mine, and her music will continue to inspire me, as I hope it will for you.

From a musical family, Carol practically grew up sleeping behind the piano at her Mom’s old-tyme dances. That rag-time sound, as well as her Mom’s classical style, are the major influences of Carol’s compositions. Some have termed her style: “Classical-Jazz-Country-Rock-Folk.”

She managed her own country-rock band at 14, playing with her brother for 10 years.
“I believe that our style had a lot to do with the environment we grew up in (Southwest Sask).
We enjoyed a certain recognition for our improv-composing on stage.”

Carol was offered a scholarship to Grant McEwan in voice/performance at age 15. She always encouraged her brother to leave the “circuit” so that they could pursue the recording business. His untimely death led her to reason, “Well that’s never gonna happen now, so I’ll have to do it myself.”

And that’s what she’s done. Carol began teaching piano and voice in 1990. (Many of her students consistently land parts in theatre productions. They also place well in festival competitions.) She began writing, producing and recording her own musical compositions in 1994.

Along the way, she has enjoyed lead roles in musical theatre. Her favourite role was as Maria in, “The Sound of Music.” She has also been the casting and music director for the Kamloops Operatic Society as well as for the Town of Hinton. She is a past member of the Kamloops UCC Choir. Carol has performed with a local jazz combo as well as with a bluegrass group. She has enjoyed being MC at the Barnhartvale Coffeehouse for several seasons.

Carol managed a childrens’ show choir in Alberta, produced an album for them, and composed their theme song. She has written several theme songs for various projects, such as: an elementary school trip, an anti-bullying campaign, and radio jingles. Her latest theme song was written for the Tumbleweeds Pub in Kamloops.

Carol has produced 3 albums for her mother as well as a souvenir album of her brother’s accomplishments. Having produced 5 albums for others, Carol believes that her time has come. She hopes to release 2 more projects by June 2009. One is dedicated to breast cancer survivors, of which she herself is. The other, as yet untitled, is a compilation of her “singles.”

Carol’s own first jazz album, “Hard to Define,” was released in June 2009. It charted #1 in jazz for the year in the Okanagan college circuit. It was requested for airplay at Whistler Radio during the Olympics as well.
Carol’s second release, in 2010, was a traditional country cd titled, “Private Party,” in which she wrote and produced all songs but for one cover. This cd charted #4 locally and #1 in bluegrass for the Okanagan.

Carol will be performing many pieces from this cd along with the aid of Doug Noel (guitar/ mandolin/ harmony), Ron Corea (drums), Peter Ward (bass), and Cvetzar Vutev (violin).