From school-hosted productions to professional albums, junior Ella Noriega makes her singing voice heard. With her interest in music stemming from her father, Noriega has sung for as long as she can remember.
Since she was young, Noriega has felt strongly about singing. “My dad is a music producer, so his love for music had a huge influence on my passion for singing as a kid,” Noriega said.
Pursuing her interest, Noriega took her first formal singing lesson a decade ago, auditioning for her first show three years later as an eight-year-old. She attributes her first show as the beginning of her love for theatre.
In addition to practicing her vocals, Noriega plays two instruments, which she believes enhances her music. “I play the piano and the guitar, which makes performing really special because it allows me to develop a connection between my voice and my instrument that only I feel and understand,” Noriega said.
Before attending American Heritage, Noriega participated in her middle school’s theatre company. Beginning in sixth grade, Noriega competed with them and received multiple Critic’s Choice awards, a highly-ranked honor.
Noriega began attending Heritage last year as a freshman and has since participated in the Fine Arts department, dedicating around 20 hours a week to the program. Noriega earned a Superior with Distinction last year with a solo at a states competition. Additionally, she competed and received high marks in a competition called Solo and Ensemble.
When not in the Fine Arts department during school, Noriega participates in school-sponsored events. This past February, Noriega and four friends competed in the Student Government Association Talent Show, and placed first with their rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Outside of school, Noriega uses her singing voice to work with professionals in the industry. She performed at a show in the Broward Center for the Performing Arts at age 13 to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of Broward County. For a professional album, Noriega sang on the album Ironía for Maná, a Mexican rock band. On a national scale, Noriega contributed her voice to Nickelodeon, a youth T.V. network. With Nickelodeon, Noriega took part in a recording for the theme song of Dora the Explorer and sang during a live show.
Although Noriega works with other musicians, she also finds time to develop her own music. “I have performed my music before, and I plan on officially releasing some stuff soon,” Noriega said. “I’ve written a couple of different genres, but I mostly end up writing ballads on the piano and sometimes some coffeehouse style music on the guitar.”
Continuing with her passion, Noriega desires to expand her musical knowledge in college. “I plan on pursuing musical theatre in college and as a career, but I would love to continue writing and performing my own music,” Noriega said.
When not singing on stage or practicing her own material, Noriega listens to a wide variety of music. “I love all kinds of different music. I am in love with classic rock like The Beatles and Pink Floyd, but I also have so much passion for musical theatre, and I love listening to reggaeton, so I am really all over the place,” she said.
For inspiration, Noriega turns to her personal life and relationships, as well as her diverse musical interests. “I am inspired by amazing artists, my life experiences that motivate me to create, and my friends and family who always support me,” Noriega said.
Noriega sings loudly and proudly, unafraid to make her voice heard. From school productions to international T.V. stations, Noriega’s musical influences reach many.