Ella Gooley competes with top talent in CNE contest »Minden Times
Ella Gooley competes with top talent at CNE competition
By Amanda Duncombe-Lee
Aspiring singer Ella Gooley hit the stars at the CNE Rising Star Competition on August 20 in Toronto, performing Rachel Platten’s 2015 hit Fight Song on stage for a chance to advance to the semi-finals.
The 12-year-old Haliburton resident was initially chosen from 200 applicants to attend the quarter-finals of the contest and was among the final 48 competitors in the preliminary round.
Ella and her family felt she had put on a strong performance.
“My experience at the CNE has been incredible. I got to sing in front of so many people and share a stage with other amazing performers,” Ella said. “The Rising Stars competition taught me that winning isn’t everything; the experience made me stronger. I understand the areas I can improve. I learned a lot from this opportunity.
Ella’s father, Grant Gooley, said there were 24 competitors on her night, with the top six advancing to the semi-finals. “We were told she missed the cut by one point,” he said.
“The crowd was very interested, it kind of filled out during that time and it felt very strong,” her father said. “It was amazing to see our daughter achieve her dream of being on stage and having the opportunity to share her hard work and dedication to music with so many people in Toronto. I was inspired as a father, and Jill, her mother, was inspired by our daughter to achieve something so big.
Ella has been performing since she was three years old. She currently plays piano at the conservatory, sings and is beginning to play guitar and dabble in songwriting. She is currently being coached by two vocal coaches and a piano teacher, and works closely with her father, who once toured in a rock band for ten years.
Ella said she was driven by the idea of being able to travel the world and sing in front of many people. “I love the opportunity to spread the word about environmental protection through my music. I want to be successful in life, and there’s no better way than to sing and play the piano” , she said.
Her father Grant emphasized the passion and hard work needed to succeed in the music industry. “First of all, have fun. If it’s not fun, you’re not going to pursue it. It’s very competitive. She has to be in the top ten percent if she wants to make a career out of it. You have to stand out and work hard. You don’t have to be good – anyone can be successful if you work hard – but Ella puts in 2-4 hours a day. If you put in the work, a lot of people can be successful,” he said.
Ella sings the national anthem at nearly every Haliburton Huskies game. Last spring she won the Keynote Award for Musicianship at the North Hastings Music Festival.
Ella is looking for more opportunities to perform in public and is currently open to performing folk and pop songs at local venues, including restaurants. She brings her complete set with her, including piano and microphone.
If you would like to book Ella, you can email Grant Gooley at [email protected] or call him at 905-442-2801. Clips of Ella’s performance are available on TikTok @grantgooley.