A cappella quartet. Vocal Group. Vocal Band. Whichever name you prefer, we’re four guys making music with just our voices, based in Kamloops, British Columbia. Slow No Tempo is Ryan Noakes, Rylee Owen, Graham Specht, and Simon Walter.
Slow No Tempo was formed in the fall of 2018. We sing a wide variety of music; from rock to sea shanties to jazz to barbershop and everything in between, all with our beautiful blend of voices and unique brand of humour. We have wowed audiences at everything from gala events to the Farmer’s Market. Every year we pick a local charity for our Singing Valentine fundraiser.
The quartet is a prime example of what can happen when you fund music education initiatives: We are all products of our school music programs, and 3 of the 4 of the founding members initially met in our youth at the Kamloops Interior Summer School of Music.
Meet The Singers
Born and raised in Kamloops, Ryan grew up thinking life was a musical with his parents constantly playing and singing along with records. An accomplished singer, he has been a member of numerous choirs and vocal groups, including the highly successful a cappella quartet SARV that performed around Kamloops to rave reviews in the late 90s and early 2000s. He went away to pursue a music education, earning his BMus from UVic and MMus from UBC, both times majoring in composition. He is now an international award-winning composer. Happily back in Kamloops, he has transitioned from singing with the Cantabile Singers to taking on the role of Music Director for the choir, and plays trumpet with the Kamloops Community Band.
Rylee is a passionate “self-taught” vocalist who began to sing semi-professionally thanks to the invitation and encouragement of his high school music teacher, originally playing the flute and piccolo before incorporating 7am vocal jazz rehearsals twice a week. He moved into concert choir, quickly achieved roles in solo and group honour performances, graduating as Top Fine Arts Student at WSS 2010, straight into Serious Options choir, of which he still is an avid member.
In truth, Rylee has been singing and performing since he was old enough to press play on the stereo and tie a blankie around his neck; the cape was *very* important.
With a broad spectrum of musical interests spanning dance and electronic to funk, folk, pop, indie and soul, there’s really not much that Rylee won’t enjoy to sing in some form.
Originally from Kamloops, Graham started music as a kid with piano lessons. Later came secondary band class and choir, the saxophone, music trips, three wonderful music teachers: Brent Thibault, Richard Dickens and Steve Griffith, and of course KISSM! These people helped to steer him toward studying music at UVIC.
During his music degree, Graham had the good fortune to sing and tour the world with the UVIC Chamber Singers and Prima Youth Choir under Dr. Bruce More. There were great times too with gigging Ska and Cuban Salsa bands, church choirs and even a few seasons with the Butchart Gardens Christmas Carolers.
On completing his music degree, Graham lived and taught in South Korea for roughly ten years where he sang with the Sokcho City Choir. On return to Canada in 2014, he worked as an English instructor at TRU, and currently works with Kamloops Immigrant Services, commuting by bicycle.
Simon has called Kamloops home for over 27 years, and works as a lawyer with Cates Ford Epp, Barristers & Solicitors, practicing primarily in the area of Family Law. In his spare time, he performs with local singing groups, including the newly minted Kamloops a cappella quartet, Slow No Tempo. He can also be found playing in and refereeing local soccer leagues in warmer months. He stays active in the community through his involvement with the Kamloops Bar Association, the Kamloops Collaborative Family Law Association, and the Kamloops Symphony Society.
Simon is thrilled to add to his nerdy hobbies by singing in harmony with three other dudes on a regular basis.
In the journey of life, change is pretty much a guarantee. This is also true of the membership of the quartet. We'd like to thank everyone who has previously performed with us for all their invaluable contributions to Slow No Tempo. Here now are all the amazing humans who have been past members of the quartet.
Alex was a founding member of the quartet. A 10 year veteran of KISSM a member of Serious Options and an alumni member of the Cantabile Singers, Alex has sung or played in every corner of Kamloops in the 41 years he has called it home. He has thumped in Caliente, tooted in Kamloops Community Band tinkled in Thompson Valley Orchestra, and Broken a 5th or two.