PNS — NOELLE Cassandra grew up in Canada and returned to the Philippines about three and a half years ago to pursue her career. While most artists hit gold in the music industry with their singing prowess, Noelle decided to trod the path less taken – playing the harp. Tadao Hayashi opened the door for the harp to the public several years ago. But when he passed away, there was no one to fill in his shoes.
“I want to fill that void,” said Noelle who finished her Bachelor in Music at the University of British Columbia in Canada . She intimated that as a baby, she would sing back the whole ‘Our Father’ which her mom had been teaching her ten times a day. Sensing her child’s musical inclination, Noelle’s mom coaxed her to study the harp and violin at age 3.
“Those were the instruments that she wanted to learn but not given the chance so she passed it to me. It was a good decision.”
According to Noelle, it’s difficult to play the harp if you don’t have the heart for it. “Yeah, it’s hard especially classical music. But I was perfectly trained at the university and after passing all the exams, auditions, recitals and everything, that was it. I learned to love the harp. It’s a unique instrument and I feel fulfilled when I’m playing it.
Aside from Tadao, Noelle’s musical influences include Jim Brickman, Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, her teachers in Canada and John Lesaca, the violinist. “Tito John was very special. He was one of my mentors, super-nice.” She has worked with John several times and has guested in the concerts of several local hitmakers among them Kuh Ledesma, Martin Nievera and Sharon Cuneta.
Besides the harp and violin, Noelle also plays the piano and writes her own songs. To date she has written 35 songs.
Noelle’s first album was released under Dyna Records two years ago. She’s now working on her second album.
“My style is hot ballad,” she informs,”… with my band. But I also want to venture to other fields- jazzy, angry, cyber songs, the likes- in order to reach different audiences.
Every Thursday, Noelle performs at Stone House (Star Tavern) along E. Rodriguez Ave. , Quezon City which is now fast becoming the entertainment mecca of music nightowls.
She guested recently in “Experience GMA” which marked the inauguration of GMA’s new studio.
Noelle joins four other hosts – Aumar Aguilar, Denz Modesto, Ingrid Nieto and Hally Chiappiazzi – in a new show titled “TWBF (This Week Big 5)” over CS9 (formerly RPN 9 every Sunday morning which will have its initial telecast on Nov. 16.
“I like the format of the show,” Noelle enthused. “It’s pure hosting, very different from my music. With my harp and microphone, I really feel comfortable. But take them away and just stand there with the other hosts- Ngee, I got kinda nervous at first. But I’m okay now. I learn from the other hosts and I’m a lot better now.
Why didn’t she pursue her musical career in Ca-nada?
“Filipinos have music in their blood. Everyone can sing here; everyone has rhythm. So I want to share my kind of music with them,” she quipped.