Youth group Listen Up is ready to perform for you

March 5, 2013

By Hannah Grandine

Early last February, a group of young girls formed the band Listen Up and became known in the community through their YouTube video “Pass the Bond,” meant to promote the Issaquah School District’s construction bond issue.

Since then, these girls have not stopped performing in the community. The group is made up of Caitlin Neill, 10, Luca Nardi, 11, Monti Fleck, 11, and Emily Rudolph, 13, who attend Issaquah Valley Elementary School and Issaquah Middle School.

As a group, Listen Up has performed all over Issaquah; at a luncheons for the Issaquah Schools Foundation and the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce, at care homes, council meetings, and PTA meetings at different Issaquah schools.

By Liz Rudolph The Listen Up quartet of (from left) Caitlin Neill, Luca Nardi, Emily Rudolph and Monti Fleck, stand together backstage at the Miss Washington pageant in October where they sang the National Anthem during opening ceremonies for the finals competition.

By Liz Rudolph
The Listen Up quartet of (from left) Caitlin Neill, Luca Nardi, Emily Rudolph and Monti Fleck, stand together backstage at the Miss Washington pageant in October where they sang the National Anthem during opening ceremonies for the finals competition.

Most notably, the group was asked to perform the national anthem for the finals of the Miss Washington pageant last October.

“There was hairspray everywhere,” Neill said. “But the girls were so nice!”

Apart from their work together, the girls all have found ways to perform outside of Listen Up. Collectively, they have performed in shows at Seattle Opera, Village Theatre and ACT Theatre, as well as choir at school.

Listen Up’s first performance as a group was at the Issaquah Farmers’ Market in the summer of 2011.

Since then, Neill said that the group has bonded a lot more.

What to Know

Book Listen Up for your event by contacting Patricia Neill at 392-0237 or lestrish2000@yahoo.com.

“We’ve become better friends and it’s easier to sing together as a group since we know each other so much now,” Neill said.

Nardi believes that singing in the group has greatly helped with her self-esteem.

“Before, I would hate singing in front of everybody. I would be so embarrassed, I wouldn’t be able to do it,” Nardi said. “But once I got together with this group I got more confident, and thought, ‘I’m good, I can sing!’”

As professional as the girls are when they perform, they are always loyal to each other.

“I think what’s unique about these girls is that they’re really supportive of each other,” Kim Nardi, Luca’s mother, said. “It’s not a competition. They’re all really good friends.”

Still, the girls are certainly ambitious for their age, auditioning for shows and performances all around the area. Luca said that her New Year’s resolution was “to focus more on my career as a singer.”

Though the group has not performed together in a while, they are always looking for more chances to return to the stage.

“They are very professional,” said Trisha Neill, Caitlin’s mother. “If anybody wants them to come and sing, they’d love to!”

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