image- Faye Carol
Faye Carol brings a lifetime of professional singing experience to the coast when she hosts intimate lessons. Photo courtesy Joe Warner

Faye Carol has done a lot of singing in her career, and she isn’t slowing down. After leaving her home state of Mississippi as a child and moving to Pittsburg, Calif., she became a standout at her church choir. With exceptional talent and an outgoing personality, Carol emerged onto the growing rhythm and blues industry in the 1960s. 

With early influences like Aretha Franklin, Sam Cooke and Mahalia Jackson, she ascended quickly, and in 1967, she opened at the Fillmore for Otis Redding, James Brown and Martha Reeves. Throughout her career, Carol has worked with some of the biggest names in R&B and soul music. 

From 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Carol will host her third annual “Beach Vocal Retreat” in Half Moon Bay, with up to 30 spaces available. She’s also offering a chance to win a scholarship to her singing and vocal classes in Berkeley. Depending on the demand, there may be a second session from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. 

Guests will enjoy games and a gourmet meal — complete with wine and dessert   at a beachfront home. 

The cost is $190. To learn more, visit Participants will receive the location upon payment.

Accompanied by her musical director and pianist Joe Warner, her retreat features a chance for group singing and the occasional solo under the guidance of one of the most prominent blues vocalists in the Bay Area. Carol says all levels of singing experience are welcome. 

“Everything about me involves music in some kind of way,” Carol said. “Music is my first love, and my second love is teaching singing.”

En route to becoming a fixture on the Bay Area jazz and blues scene, Carol founded the School of the Get Down to host her own vocal and music lessons. She’s received a plethora of awards for her music and public service, including the city of Berkeley’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016. 

Carol says she loves Half Moon Bay because of the ocean views and the small-town vibe. Because she teaches classes throughout the Bay Area, she wants Half Moon Bay to be the central gathering place, or a “happy medium,” for any fans or followers. In her School of the Get Down classes, students rave about her passion and welcoming spirit. Bottom line, she wants people to have a good time and express themselves, regardless of perceived vocal ability. 

“It’s no pressure. There’s no competition,” Carol said. “There are many places people can go because they want to be competitive. But my thing is just to be a better singer than when you walked in the door.”

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