One fateful day, Kelly Chartier stopped by KMH Music to purchase a box of reeds. “Hey, Kelly! We’re forming a Motown band. Up for joining?” asked Chris Morton, the sales clerk. “Heck, yeah!” answered Kelly. And that was how The Star City Syndicate’s most dedicated musician became a founding member of the group. Although her skill extends to the tenor and soprano saxes as well, Kelly perfectly holds down the intimidating role of sole alto sax player in the group. To date, Kelly has attended every single Syndicate rehearsal ever with the exception of one she missed in order to watch her son’s baseball game. She has suffered through hot July performances in rickety two-story bandstands, nerve-wracking concerts in front of the blinding stage lights of UMPI’s Weiden Auditorium, and marathon gigs such as the four-hour fundraiser in Mars Hill that ended at midnight, and yet each rehearsal and performance finds her eager for more.
The rest of the band is eternally grateful for that one fateful moment when she said, “Heck, yes.”