Audrey Nadeau—also known as Cello Bride—is a classically-trained cellist currently living in Port Alberni. FACEBOOK PHOTO

From Carnegie to the Alberni Valley, cellist finds a new path

Audrey Nadeau drawn by allure of the ocean to Vancouver Island’s west coast

Three years ago, cellist Audrey Nadeau was performing at Carnegie Hall in New York. Now, she is living and performing on Vancouver Island and learning to love the west coast lifestyle.

Nadeau, who performs under the name Cello Bride, is a classical cellist currently located at Sproat Lake in the Alberni Valley. She travels between Port Alberni and Tofino, performing small concerts, weddings and other events, as well as offering private lessons for cello and piano.

Nadeau grew up in Quebec, in a “very small town” two hours away from Montreal. She was the third of five children, and her mother was a musician who wanted to make sure her children had a musical education.

“I would hear more [classical music] than the usual radio at home,” Nadeau said. “My mom liked music and she wanted to spread the joy.”

Nadeau picked up the cello at a young age and by 15 years old she was studying at the Conservatory of Montreal. She picked up her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music at The Juilliard School in New York and from there began performing in major music halls across North America.

The decision to drop everything and move to the west coast of Canada was one that came “pretty easily,” she said. During her last few years in New York, she longed to move out of the city and experience a rural lifestyle. A road trip with a friend provided her with an opportunity to visit the west coast, and she ended up in Tofino with a cello, no sheet music and only a few possessions.

She describes Tofino as “the end of the road.”

“I got there and thought—and now what? I had no idea where I was going to stay,” she explained. “I just started playing.”

Nadeau started out playing at the Botanical Gardens in Tofino, performing in the middle of the forest for guests. It was an eye-opener for Nadeau, who was able to meet new people and share a musical experience in an intimate way.

“The nature of the encounter would be much more powerful than anyting I had experienced in a concert hall,” she said. “I realized that a lot of people enjoy this music, they’re just not drawn to the concert hall. The fun of it is often lost.”

Nadeau strives to make her music more accessible, with small venues and school presentations, encouraging students to work hard and enjoy what they do. She performs concerts at coffee shops like Burde Beans and Steampunk Café, offering musical selections from Disney movies and Star Wars, as well as pop tunes. Nadeau already has a performance set up at the Rollin Art Centre’s Teas on the Terrace this summer and hopes to put on a show for students at Alberni District Secondary School. Her performances are often interactive, with movie clips and storytelling.

She wanted to expand her repertoire to connect with a younger audience, because she believes the experience is more powerful when you play something children can relate to.

“I try to meet them where they are,” she explained. “I decided to go just full-on Disney. I’m very playful,” she added, pointing out the Pac-Man earrings she frequently wears. “I like the kids’ stuff.”

People do sometimes request songs. In this case, Nadeau will either write the music herself or find it online and add it to the act. She has already recorded a CD of children’s music and hopes to begin work soon on her own original music.

“I got bored and started to improvise,” she said. “Through that improvisation, I found that I was composing.”

After the discovery that playing for her new community was more fun than playing in prestigious halls, Nadeau returned to the east coast only to pick up the rest of her belongings and make a permanent relocation to Sproat Lake, between Port Alberni and Tofino. Nadeau has been on the west coast for two years now, with regular performances at the Driftwood Café in Tofino.

“I’m planning on staying here,” she said. “I’m growing an audience, I’m growing a network.”

The name “Cello Bride,” she explained, is somewhat literal.

“I married my cello,” she said. “I put on the dress, I had the roses, I walked on the beach.”

It was also a way of “re-branding” herself as she moved to the west coast.

“As I was leaving New York, I was aware that I needed a new outlet,” she said. “I was trying to find that initial spark that made me love music. [Cello Bride is] a statement that your life is your work of art. You decide who you are, what you do with your life.”

Nadeau performs for weddings and other private events, and is also currently recruiting cello and piano students. You can reach her at her website, www.cellobride.com, or on Facebook.



elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Audrey Nadeau—also known as Cello Bride—is a classically-trained cellist currently living in Port Alberni. FACEBOOK PHOTO

Just Posted

UPDATE: Motorcyclist dies after three-vehicle crash on old Island Highway in Nanaimo

Accident happened at 12:15 p.m. Friday near Country Club Centre

Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts visits Victoria for Comic Con

He says he’s looking forward to the event, but don’t ask him where the snake is

Dump truck driver hurt after highway crash in Ladysmith

One man airlifted to hospital after collision between dump truck and pickup truck Friday

Fewer residents of Greater Victoria receive EI benefits

The number of local EI recipients dropped by 5.5 per cent from January 2018 to January 2019

Search and rescue volunteers work to keep waterways safe

Over 1,000 volunteers help keep mariners safe; headquarters based in Sooke

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Protective human chain forms around B.C. mosque for Friday prayer

Vancouver Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

With wildfire season getting closer, the Penticton Fire Dept. offer tips to keep your home safe

Fierce house cat spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Wilson-Raybould to reveal more details, documents on SNC-Lavalin affair

Former attorney general has written to the House of Commons justice committee

Anti-discrimination group wants to map offenders with cross-Canada hate atlas

Morgane Oger Foundation issues call for volunteers to help build Canadian Atlas of Populist Extremism

Kater to launch ridesharing service in Vancouver by end of month

The Surrey-based company got its permits from the Vancouver Taxi Association

Most Read