The Tucson vocal group Sister Solace returns to the Scottish Rite Temple for a concert of Appalachian and Eastern European folk songs.

Gavin Troy

Sister Solace is a baker’s dozen of harmonic voices broken up into pairs, trios and quartets, with a few solos to keep you on your toes.

Under the leadership of Gabrielle Pietrangelo, formerly of Tucson’s Silver Thread Trio, the group has been around just over a year and performed one concert. It performs its second on Friday, May 13, at the Scottish Rite Cathedral downtown.

Pietrangelo said Sister Solace’s goal is more vocal workshop than performance ensemble. Members pay a tuition for the sessions, which run from fall through spring, and focus on vocal techniques and harmonies for new arrangements of songs in the Appalachian Americana and Eastern European traditions.

“We do mostly four-part harmonies. There’s minimal accompaniment so there’s a bit of guitar,” she said. She then compared the similarities between Eastern European and American music. Both have similar harmonies, story-telling traditions and dissonance, she said.

Pietrangelo said the group performs two concerts a year — one in the winter and one in the spring — mostly as a way to bring together all of the things they have been working on all year. They split into trios, duos, quartets and solos.

“It’s like a harmony ensemble. It’s not really a band,” she said. “I don’t know, we’re kind of unique.”

Members of Sister Solace will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Scottish Rite Cathedral, 160 S. Scott Ave. The cost is $10 at the door.

Sister Solace is looking for a couple voices to add to its ranks. For information, email Pietrangelo at

I cover music for the Arizona Daily Star.