Identical twins Kayleigh (with guitar) and Kaleena Goldsworthy are one-third of "The Scarlet Ending," a band they founded which has been invited to perform for the military in Europe.
See and hear the group on MySpace
SUNY Fredonia knows the hauntingly melodic songs of the Goldsworthy sisters, Kaleena and Kayleigh, and their six-member band, The Scarlet Ending. And beginning in June, so will thousands of United States military personnel stationed in Europe.
The Scarlet Ending, which features the two SUNY Fredonia seniors and songs they write from the heart and perform with passion, has been invited by Armed Forces Entertainment, the official Department of Defense agency that provides entertainment to military personnel overseas, to join a 20-day tour in North and Central Europe.
“I’m so excited,” exclaimed Kaleena. “I feel it is such an honor and a privilege to be able to participate in something like this. I’ve never been overseas before, so to be able to have this experience and to perform for our troops is wonderful.”
Kayleigh, likewise, is equally thrilled with the tour, and heralds the opportunity to play before such large audiences as a “big experience” for the band.
These identical twins, who became The Scarlet Ending shortly after appearing in talent shows at C.W. Baker High School, located outside of Syracuse, are wholly committed to pursuing careers in music after receiving their SUNY Fredonia degrees in May, and the European tour will be the newest chapter in their musical journey.
Kaleena is majoring in both applied music, with a concentration in voice, and music business, and also plays piano. Originally a music education major, Kayleigh, who plays violin and guitar, is also studying music business and has minors in business administration and visual arts and new media.
The girls were raised by incredibly musical parents, James and Linda Goldsworthy, so it’s little wonder that Kaleena and Kayleigh have been singing and playing instruments their entire lives. They started singing soon after learning to talk, and Kayleigh learned to play guitar from her father, who played in countless bands while growing up. “Both of our parents have been so supportive of us from the first time we ever showed any interest in music,” Kaleena remembered. Her sister added, “We couldn’t ask for more supportive and nurturing parents.”
Initially a blend of acoustic, folk and rock, The Scarlet Ending’s music defies genre labeling. No surprise there, given the girls’ eclectic musical tastes and those home movies showing Kayleigh and Kaleena, as two-year-olds, singing to Genesis and Cyndi Lauper albums. The sisters were joined by a drummer two years ago and began to expand into alternative styles as more members and instruments were added. Their sound today can be described as ever evolving indie rock with classical influences. “I think that’s what gives us an interesting kind of feel,” Kaleena said.
Mark Bialczak, music critic for the Syracuse Post Standard, praised the girls’ voices that make their original songs stand out from the increasingly populated women-with-an-edge genre of music. They come from the edgy corner of pop rock, not the syrupy section, he said.
Covers by the Ramones, Indigo Girls and Fleetwood Mac played in early years have been replaced by the sisters’ own compositions that were influenced by R.E.M. and Death Cab for Cutie, among other indie groups.
Along with Kayleigh and Kaleena who share lead vocals, The Scarlet Ending includes Jon Tedd, guitar; Jess Hafner, cello; Brian Cooney, bass; and Kiel Feher, drums. Three of the other members live in Syracuse, the fourth in New York City. All four joined the girls last summer.
The Goldsworthy connection to Armed Services Entertainment began last spring in Austin, Texas, at South by Southwest Music and Media Conference. An Armed Forces Entertainment representative sought them out after listening to just one song. “It was just a matter of them hearing us,” Kayleigh remembered.
Both girls plan to utilize their SUNY Fredonia education and upcoming tour to advance their careers in the music business, either as performers or in behind-the-scenes rolls.
“Having a degree in music business helps us to be ready to be in the music industry, and also being in a band adds an experience that can only help to further our careers in the music business,” Kayleigh explained.
Kaleena credits her voice teacher, Angela Haas, for her success in classical music and the ability to translate what she’s learned into her own music. “She has helped me so much by teaching me how to use my voice in the correct way while singing all types of music. She knows that I want to make singing my career, and to her, it doesn’t matter what genre I choose to sing.”
Dr. James Davis, who teaches music history, has always taken great interest in their music, Kaleena added. “I really appreciated this, because it was very nice to know that it doesn’t matter what type of music you pursue as a career or as a hobby, people at Fredonia would be supportive of you.”
Kayleigh praised Jerry Brindisi, visiting assistant professor of music, as a “fantastic professor and mentor.” He generously channels information and advice on music business affairs to the group and has a genuine interest in their progress and career beyond SUNY Fredonia, she said.
Also supportive of the girls in their journey into the music business has been Amber Rinehart, lecturer in communication. “It’s an incredible feeling to know that one of your professors not only agrees with and tries to understand what you’re doing, but openly supports it and is as excited about what comes next as we are,” Kayleigh adds.
After returning from Europe at the end of July, the girls plan to begin work on their third CD with a New York producer and may join another armed forces tour.
The Scarlet Ending played at Fred Fest in 2006, plus numerous benefit shows and acoustic sets in the community, and enjoys a large following beyond SUNY Fredonia. The band has been formally recognized by the Syracuse Area Music Awards association, which honors Syracuse musicians that contribute to the local music scene. Their first album, a self-titled release issued in 2005, won a SAMMY award for best pop recording, and their second, “Cries and Whispers,” ranked in the Top 10 in the Central New York region, according to the Syracuse Post Standard. “Cries and Whispers” was licensed by MTV and one of its songs, “The Way We Used To Be,” was heard on MTV’s “The Hills” series last September.
That always strong family support for the group reached a new level in 2006. That’s when Mr. Goldsworthy formed Fierce Little Records, an independent label that records and promotes local bands, including The Scarlet Ending. “He has always been there for us, helping us record CDs, travel to the various places we go for shows, and for moral support,” Kaleena said.
“I couldn’t imagine having more amazing or supportive parents, especially when it comes to what we aspire to do with our lives.”
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