Meet Cass Noelle, SouthSide Arts & Music Festival Performer
The Lehigh Valley Underground free stage lineup at the SouthSide Arts & Music Festival is designed to give local artists — both established and emerging — a platform on which to shine.
One of those emerging names — singer-songwriter Cass Noelle — has been shining at SteelStacks Open Mic, presented by Billy Bauer for several months. Now, she moves into the festival realm, set to perform at Molly’s Irish Grille & Sports Pub this Saturday, April 21 from 6-7:30 p.m.
We caught up with Cass to talk about the gig, her influences, and everything else she has going on.
Before we get into music, a fun fact: In addition to being a musician, you’re also a personal trainer! Tell us about your home-based personal training business, Fitness by Cass.
Fitness by Cass provides personal training and nutrition consulting in the comfort of clients’ homes. I absolutely love what I do and the change that it brings about in people. The aesthetic changes are just a bonus. What really brings me joy is to see them walk taller, increase their capabilities, and have a better overall quality of life and perception of their bodies. My mission is to help women feel comfortable in their own skin, loving their bodies for what they can do, and understanding and embracing the idea that they are fearfully and wonderfully made.
How does your work with clients inspire you in other areas of life?
Everyone has a “why.” Those are the things I often find most inspirational. I’m honored to be a part of peoples’ journeys toward better versions of themselves, and I frequently find that I personally gain more from our sessions than they may realize. For example, I work with a woman in her mid 60s who decided, just a few years ago, that she wanted to be a competitive swimmer. She’s performing phenomenally and I find myself thinking of her whenever I question whether I should try something new. I recently bought a keyboard and I’ve been learning and writing piano songs. One of the things I thought to myself was that if my client could start swimming in her 60s, there’s no reason I couldn’t start learning to play piano now! No excuses.
Getting to music now, let’s start from the beginning and talk about your earliest forays into music. How did you get started?
One of my earliest life memories is of creating a stage out of floor puzzles at daycare when I was three years old. I’ve been singing ever since my mouth could form the sounds, but my first solo performance was in a 3rd grade talent show. I sang “Way Over Yonder” by Carol King, a song I now aspire to learn on the keys and bring full circle. I started playing guitar when I was 12 and instantly fell in love with the acoustic sound and the creative outlet in general.
Who would you say were your major influences growing up?
My major musical influences growing up were, thankfully, the musicians my parents were listening to at the time: Dire Straits, Billy Joel, Carole King, Melissa Etheridge, the Beatles, Eric Clapton and David Bowie immediately come to mind. As I approached my teen years, Jewel became one of my biggest musical influences.
We first crossed paths late last summer at Billy Bauer’s open mic at SteelStacks, where you’ve showcased your talents frequently since. What about that open mic keeps you coming back?
I love the crowd and the variety of talent at the SteelStacks open mic. It’s like seeing a different show (for free!) every week and Billy does a great job of setting a welcoming atmosphere. I really enjoy meeting new people there and I always leave inspired in some way; the talent present consistently blows me away. Thursday nights are definitely a highlight of my week.
Who have you seen at open mic that you’d like to play with?
There are so many. Each person brings his or her own style to the stage and collaboration would be so much fun. Off the top of my head, I’d like to play with theLionhearted, Rebecca Connelly, and Bobby Siegfried. I think I could collaborate with each of them in a different way to produce a captivating sound.
You’ll play at Molly’s Irish Grille and Sports Pub this Saturday night from 6-7:30 p.m. as part of the SouthSide Arts & Music Festival free stage lineup, presented by Lehigh Valley Underground. What can we expect from your set?
I’ve been working hard to put together a set that people will enjoy listening to as much as I enjoy playing. You can expect an array of folk, indie, bluegrass and pop influences; brought together by acoustic stylings on guitar or banjitar with unique vocal expressions. Also, depending on my mood, maybe a few bad jokes, a hot toddy for me, a beer for you, and an astronaut. I’d just like to have a fun time with everyone who comes out to see me, and be a pleasant surprise to those who just happen to be there.
Musically speaking, what else is on the horizon for you after the big day on Saturday?
I’m scheduled to play at Musikfest (at the SteelStacks, I believe) as part of a local showcase on August 8th. In the meantime, I’ll be frequenting open mics and spending some time writing and learning the keys!
We’ve come to the end! Where can readers go online to learn more about you?
You can find my music page at https://www.facebook.com/MusicalCass/ and my fitness page at https://www.facebook.com/FitnessbyCass/.