UPDATE: A lot has been happening for Mandee and the ABC Girls in the past year. As their online recognition has grown, they have continued local performances; in August, they won Hurricane’s Got Talent. Their debut album, “Shine Brightly,” is currently in production and expected to be released sometime in 2014. They are running a promotional effort on indiegogo through December, with opportunities for fans to earn special prize packages in support of the album. For more on these exceptional young talents, visit their new website, www.mandeeabcs.com.
ST. GEORGE – Mandee and the ABC Girls, a group of young singing sisters, are on a mission to spread their musical message of hope and love with the world, starting right here in St. George.
Mandee and the ABC Girls are Mandee Rodgers, 12, and her sisters, Aubree, 9, Brittnee, 8, and Christee, 7. All are daughters of St. George residents Rob Rodgers, a flight paramedic, and Tonya Rodgers, a stay-at-home mom and volunteer teacher.
Their music is contemporary Christian with pop and rhythm and blues influences. Lyrics focus on positive, uplifting messages of self-worth, love and togetherness.
“I like sharing my music,” Aubree said. “I hope it makes people happy.”
Mandee serves as lead singer. A student at Vista Charter School, she is passionate about musical theatre, plays piano and studies under performing arts teacher Brodie Perry. She has competed in several beauty pageants and is the reigning Miss Cinderella Washington County. Aside from her musical ability, she also has a talent for making people laugh with her quirky personality and outrageous facial expressions.
Aubree makes up one-third of the girls’ harmony, and occasionally sings lead. She is a member of the Vocal Expression singing group at Vista and a theater performer who will soon be appearing in a community production of Peter Pan. Though not the oldest, she is usually the sister in charge.
“She makes sure everyone is doing everything right, even Mom and Dad,” Rob Rodgers said. “She’s very comfortable taking the lead.”
Brittnee is an equally talented singer and dancer, currently taking ballet lessons. Nicknamed “Birdee,” she is described by her parents as the family princess and diva of the ABC Girls.
Youngest sister Christee is a new student at Vista and taking both voice and guitar lessons. She is affectionately known as “Little Rob” for her many similarities to her father, in both looks and personality.
The Rodgers were a musical family long before Mandee and the ABC Girls hit the stage. Tonya Rodgers majored in music in college and has written songs as a hobby for over two decades. As soon as their first daughter, Kaydee Rodgers, now 21, was old enough to talk, they sang together.
Mandee started singing at age 2. An outgoing, fearless child, she demonstrated her performing ability by breaking out into song at restaurants, grocery stores and anywhere she found a receptive audience. She became so well-known in the community that people frequently approached her with song requests.
Her younger sisters quickly took an interest in singing, largely due to her influence. They first performed together in skits for family and friends and at church.
“People were impressed by their skill for tune and harmony at their age,” Rob Rodgers said.
Encouraged by the positive response, he pitched the idea of creating a group to his wife and daughters in 2009. The girls’ enthusiasm was instant and infectious; practice began right away.
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Video courtesy of Mandee and the ABC Girls
Growing success and future
With their dad as manager, Mandee and the ABC Girls have since performed at the Washington County Fair, SunRiver, the Coyote Gulch Art Village, various Christmas and Fourth of July programs and at senior care centers. In July 2012, they opened for John Houston’s Choir at the St. George Tabernacle.
Mandee and the ABC Girls are now in the process of recording their debut album, “Shine Brightly,” which will be released in late 2013 via the independent Christian label Chariot Records. The first single, “It’s My Life,” is already available for purchase on iTunes.
“My favorite thing about singing is recording it,” Brittnee said. “It makes me smile to hear myself sing.”
Over the last three years, Mandee and the ABC Girls have gained thousands of fans, not only in Southern Utah but around the world, thanks to their YouTube videos. They are among the 100 most popular artists in the country on ReverbNation. But despite their success, they remain grounded by their family and their faith, which continue to bring them closer together.
“I feel like there’s greater unity among our family because we’re all working towards the same goal,” Tonya Rodgers said.
“The best part about (this experience) is that we’re all sisters,” Mandee said.
As for their future the Rodgers family is leaving all their options open, and letting the girls decide what will happen next.
“Our hope is for them to be happy,” Rob Rodgers said. “If they want to pursue a career or if they want to do something else, we’re 100 percent behind them no matter what happens.”
At least one member of the family is in it for the long haul: “I want to do this my whole life,” Christee said. “Forever and ever.”
Find Mandee and the ABC Girls online
Now available from STGnews.com
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