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The City Journals

Dueling piano group Just Becausin’ performs at Holladay City Hall

Mar 11, 2020 12:40PM ● By Sona Schmidt Harris

S. Frank Stringham, a former Holladay resident, sang in his smooth and amiable way at City Hall. (Sona Schmidt-Harris/Holladay)

By Sona Schmidt-Harris | [email protected]

The vaudevillian-type act Just Becausin’ entertained a mixed-age crowd at City Hall on Feb. 21.  The duo, consisting of S. Frank Stringham and Tamsyn Spackman, are distantly related cousins, thus the name, “Just Becausin.’”  

The Holladay Arts Council organized the event.

A combination of singing, balloon artistry, magic, humor and audience participation moved the show along at a lively pace.

Stringham and Spackman sang such classics as, “Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better)” and “The Ugly Bug Ball.” There was a special section devoted to rainbows with “I Can Sing a Rainbow,” “Over the Rainbow” and “Rainbow Connection” sung by a Kermit the Frog balloon puppet, a crowd favorite.

With a smooth and easy voice, Stringham serenaded the crowd with a song written especially for the occasion, “Holladay in Utah.” Spackman was dazzling when hitting the high notes, especially in “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess. While the high notes impressed the adults, she entertained the children by singing to a baby made of pink balloons.

Numerous volunteers came to the stage where they not only helped to create the Ugly Bug Ball, but also played a kind of balloon charades where balloon props and “acting” kept the audience guessing at which movie was being portrayed.

The children were especially happy when they got to keep their balloon props.

The show ended with Stringham “directing” a stage full of participants portraying Las Vegas fountains (probably those at the Bellagio Hotel).

Spackman has a bachelor’s degree in music from Utah State University. She has sung in several operas and received awards of excellence in music theory. She was a featured soloist in Handel’s “Messiah.”

Stringham has a long history in the entertainment business. Multitalented, he is a songwriter, playwright, balloon artist, comedian, actor and pianist.

He was on “America’s Got Talent,” where he was buzzed off quickly, but got many gigs because of his appearance.

Stringham is from Holladay.  

To learn more about Just Becausin’, visit their website: