First year debuts with Braided Rain

 The power of coming together and making the best use of an opportunity is the story of Braided Rain.

First year Erin Baliles formed the musical trio with her sister Caris and friend Madison “Madi” Hart.


The singers are currently separated as they each attend a different college: Erin Baliles chose Eastern, Caris Baliles is a junior at Messiah College, Hart is in her first year at Montgomery County Community College.


The journey began about six years ago when the three young women sang for a Souderton Harleysville Youth Basketball game. 


“Our friendship grew from there and we began singing in church not long after that,” Hart said. 


After discovering that they had a talent and obvious love for music, the girls began to perform with the choir from Indian Creek Church of the Brethren, but it was not long before they formed their own group.


“Eventually, we were taught a three-part harmony, and that was really exciting,” Erin Baliles said. 


It was this three-part harmony that set the girls apart from the rest of the choir.


 “My sister Caris has a really great alto voice and I’m more of a soprano,” Erin Baliles said.  “Madi has a beautiful singing voice in general. So the whole harmony worked well for us.” 


“We had gotten a lot of encouragement from friends and family members and a lot of them were starting to suggest that we have our own concert,” Erin Baliles said. 


Finally the opportunity arrived when Mark Baliles, the sisters’ father and the pastor of Indian Creek Church of the Brethren, was looking for a way to raise money to help the Manna on Main Street soup kitchen in Lansdale. 


The trio, in their first solo performance, sang a variety of selections including Christmas carols, jazz, pop and even a few Celtic folk songs. “We really enjoy singing Celtic and folk music inspired by The Wailin’ Jennys,” Hart said.


Erin Baliles is currently planning to major in psychology, but she hopes that, whatever happens with Braided Rain, she will be able to continue singing because it is something she truly loves to do. 


As for a future with singing, “You never can tell,” Erin Baliles said. “I never really considered myself to be an actual singer before, so I didn’t expect all this to happen, but it’s exciting.”

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