The hockey world rarely sees the struggle or battle within. We never see or hear about the personal sacrifices behind the scenes that it takes to deliver the goods.
We all see the performance and ultimately judge and scrutinize every aspect of it, never fully understanding their stories, the hardships, the dedication, the persistence and passion they possess. The courage it takes to perform could take a toll on anyone’s psyche. Every player remembers picking up a stick and lacing up the skates for the first time. For Chloe Gaudet it wasn’t a stick or skates, it was a microphone.
“I was at my Memere and Pepere’s house the first time I sang in front of a group of people, said Gaudet.
“We had a talent show with my cousins for the family after supper. I was three, and I loved everything about putting on a show.”
Everyone needs a mentor someone to look up to, a guiding light, a beacon of inspiration.
“I learned to sing listening to Taylor Swift. My mother played music in the car while I was in the backseat when I was a small child, and from my car seat, the first songs I ever belted out were, “Love Story” and “You Belong with Me.”
Swift might have been the beacon of inspiration, but Gaudet is quick to credit countless mentors throughout her journey.
“I’ve been very fortunate to have many mentors. The Moncton artistic community has a lot to offer its youth,” explained Gaudet.
“I grew up singing in Nadine Hebert’s choirs. She is the Director of “Les Jeunes Chanteurs d’Acadie” and its farm team, “Les Amis de la chanson.”
Gaudet was only 9 years old and singing in both choirs.
“I think she helped me a lot because as a choir, we had many opportunities to sing in front of large audiences from the Congrès Mondial Acadien in Shediac, to the International Music Festival in Louisiana. The choir executives work hard to provide opportunities to young singers. Being involved with these choirs truly opened doors for me because when the Artist in Residence at the Capitol Theatre, Marshall Button and Maestro Tony Delgado were looking to audition singers and actors for children’s roles for their first musical theatre production, they reached out to Nadine to audition singers. I was so excited to have my first audition at 9, and I was cast in the first production of The Sound of Music, where I played the youngest Von Trapp child, Gretl.”
Gaudet has been involved in some way with all of the Capitol Theatre’s professional productions ever since that point.
“Working this closely with a company of actors and singers has been extremely rewarding. I’ve been very fortunate,” confessed the humble and modest 17 year old.
Moncton’s artistic community is incredibly vibrant and supportive for countless young performers and their families.
“I met my first voice teacher Monette Gould during one of my shows and thus began my private lessons with musical theatre and classical voice education. Since her retirement, I’m currently studying with Myriam Poitras at Mimi Musique in Dieppe.
Gaudet is working on Level 9 of classical voice (Opera) certification. Matt LeBlanc from Les Productions Fusions, also played a role in Gaudet’s progression.
“Matt shaped my perspective on performing due in large part to his creativity which brings an entirely different perspective to a stage show,” said Gaudet.
The pandemic took a toll on everyone. From athletes to performers, the restrictions and subsequent cancellation of shows and games coupled with the inability to perform was gut wrenching. The game or the performance has always been an outlet for so many people.
“My music teachers at MHS, (Mrs. Wood and Mr. Pellerin) needed to be creative with technology during the pandemic. They encouraged me and others to sing and to play virtually because of the restrictions. They understood that musicians still needed to keep training despite not being able to perform in public. So, there are lots of videos and attempts at using technology and apps during the pandemic to stay connected.”
Staying connected and undoubtedly making a connection with the audience is everything when it comes to a performer. That aspect was taken away and completely out of her control which was incredibly difficult to grasp during the of the pandemic.
“They were all valuable lessons learned,” admitted Gaudet.
“All of my mentors and teachers have helped me prepare for my performances in their own way.”
“Every venue from a stage, to center field or a rink; every performance has its particular flavour, and it’s all been of great value to me as a performer,” said Gaudet.
“Singing to me, can be magical. It has the power to unite everyone. It can create bonds between humans who are sick or struggling with any human condition.”
Gaudet’s passion for singing, performing and unrelenting drive for perfection are truly unmatched.
“I keep singing, to share precious moments and to remember sweet memories, or even help people deal with life struggles,” stressed Gaudet.
The support and sacrifices her parents have provided is certainty not lost on the quiet humble Grade 12 student.
“My parents supported my dream of singing by providing private lessons, driving me to and from rehearsals and recitals, as well as continuously reminding me to practice as necessary.
“My parents continue to encourage me to sing at events, but most of all, they believe in me,” said a reflective Gaudet.
There’s so much goes into a performance behind the scenes. We never see the struggle.
Every performance matters, especially when the stakes can be so high. Gaudet’s voice echoes in the hallways of the Avenir Centre an hour before puck drop as she prepares to sing the anthem.
“It’s important before a performance to warm up, much like players do before a game. Vocal cords are muscles and can be a bit fussy in that it’s easier to sing in a warmer room than it is in a cold one, so I warm up as close to puck drop as possible because the temperature in the rink is a bit cold. Even though I’ve sung the National Anthem many times, I still run through it two or three times before I perform because it’s such a well-known song. I need some quiet time to get into my zone before every performance.”
Getting in the zone is critical because the stakes are incredibly high.
“There are two things that make solo anthem singing so intimidating, you’re entirely exposed, no band, no one beside you and you’re singing a song that everyone knows, which also can hold a lot of patriotic meaning for people,” said nationally renowned television personality, actress and vocalist Tara Slone. “The stakes feel very high,” added Slone.
“I’ve performed live with my band in front of thirty thousand people, piece of cake.”
“I’ve performed in front of millions of people on TV during Rockstar INXS, not a piece of cake, but the band and music gave me the support I needed to do it.”
“I’ve done NHL games and an NBA game, I’ve never been as nervous in my life,” admitted Slone who was recently hired by the San Jose Sharks to contribute to video and audio content and will host a podcast called The Uncurrent with Tara Slone on the Sharks Audio Network.
There’s no question pressure to perform and the nerves is real, but that’s when the Gaudet relies on all of her training and experience.
“I struggle a bit with perfectionism, and I always try to deliver a better performance than the last. As a singer, it’s important not to get too comfortable, so pushing yourself or having a different goal for a performance is good.”
“There is a such a thing as having a healthy level of nervousness before a performance because that keeps me on my toes.”
“I do feel that the bigger the crowd, the more determined I am to give my best,” explained Gaudet.
“It’s impossible to have a bad day at work at the Avenir Centre. The Wildcats fans and members of the organisation have been very welcoming, and “the Den” feels like a big family. I love the atmosphere and the teamwork both on and off the ice.”
“I feel extremely privileged to sing at such an amazing facility with such great acoustics.”
“I will always be thankful to the Wildcats organisation for giving me the opportunity to grow as a singer at Moncton’s largest venue, I love my job,” said Gaudet.
Courage and trust. Every athlete or performer needs these attributes to be at their very best.
“For me a singer’s courage is the ability to be vulnerable and share a part of me with the fans in the arena.”
“Trust, is within myself that I have undergone the correct preparation, and that I can feel and hear the music well enough to keep me on key while singing a cappella.”
Every young performer and athlete wants to take their game to the next level.
“I would love to sing in a venue like the Bell Centre in Montreal, or even on an international stage. I do see myself singing throughout my lifetime.”
“I’m one of these people who needs to sing to be happy,” confessed Gaudet.
Every athlete and performer strives to deliver the goods. Chloe Gaudet does it every time she steps foot on Avenir Centre ice.