Lidyoff piles on success after success

Junior singer-songwriter wins awards, makes new music
Lidyoff piles on success after success
Editor’s Note
Editor’s Note

The Tribe Tribune struggled to track junior Noelle Lidyoff’s successes during the 2023–2024 school year. She released several songs with her band. And she won a national YoungArts Award. And she was named an OC Artist of the Year finalist, the only student from FUHS to reach the final round. And she was selected to represent all 12,000 Fullerton Joint Union High School District students at school board meetings next year as the student representative, the first FUHS student to do so in recent memory. And she performed at her church and at community events. And she performed in shows for Dance Production while maintaining top grades in honors classes.

She’s been busy, but the Tribune would like to share her artist story from the very beginning to the now. We’ve included several tracks of her music; you can find more at Della Luz’s linktree.


Listen to “One Woman Army” on YouTube.
One Woman Army: Sync band new release

The band Della Luz that features junior Noelle Lidyoff on vocals released the single “One Woman Army” in early May. However, Della Luz isn’t angling for a traditional hit. Instead, Della Luz is a sync band with the primary goal of having songs placed in commercials, TV shows, movies, or other media. Sync music is different from writing pop, folk or gospel songs.

“Some of the songs we’re going to release in the future through Della Luz aren’t necessarily my style, but they cater to a certain image,” Lidyoff said. “You really want to focus on visuals. How could you see this song used in a commercial? The lyrics can’t be too general but they can’t be too specific either. You want it to be able to be pitched to many projects.”

The vocals on “One Woman Army” aren’t typical Lidyoff. “I usually don’t belt like that. I usually sing in my middle soprano and make it sound like a belt,” Lidyoff said. “On the bridge I belt a lot, my voice gets really dark and deep and I love the sound, but I usually sing in a different placement.”

Musicians often struggle to make ends meet with just digital downloads and live shows. Sync music, on the other hand, makes money. A song placed in a movie’s end credits can earn an independent musician up to $10,000.

“For example, our dream goal for placement of ‘One Woman Army’ would be a women’s sports commercial during the Olympics,” Lidyoff said. “It’s a female-empowerment song.”

Listen to “Wish You Were Mine” on YouTube.
2024 OC Artist of the Year finalist

Ninety-eight students were nominated in the vocalist category for the Orange County Register’s annual OC Artist of the Year competition. Lidyoff finished in the top five. One judge wrote, “She’ll be playing stadiums by next year.”

But Lidyoff’s goal isn’t pop stardom–she wants to do music with whatever doors open: performinging, writing or producing. “I think I want to go to college in the Nashville area,” Lidyoff said. “I want to get a music business degree and minor in songwriting and be close enough to Nashville to work on projects” like her band Della Luz and producing her own music.

This means audiences are more likely to hear Della Luz’s single “Wish You Were Mine” during a television show or film before Lidyoff herself headlines a show. “Wish You Were Mine,” with its wry humor about unrequited love, could easily be placed in a CW teen series.

Noelle Lidyoff’s first performance was as a starfish in the Little Mermaid in first grade. Photo courtesy of Noelle Lidyoff.
Local theater: Fun beginning

Lanette Lidyoff, Noelle’s mom, said that Noelle was 5 when she started singing. “She’d be singing off key while she was cleaning her room,” Lanette said. “She made a tune for whatever she was doing.”

Lidyoff started voice lessons for fun when she was 6 then joined a children’s theater through the Sunny Hills Church of Christ. “It was free and everyone was accepted,” Lanette said. “Noelle attended the summer program for the first few years, then she realized she liked it.”

Noelle started working with vocal coach Jane Harrison when she was 8. Although Noelle no longer takes regular lessons, she and Harrison will collaborate if Noelle needs to prepare for a tricky audition.

“[Harrison] gave me a really good foundation in classical music, which I think is really important for pop singers,” Lidyoff said. “You need to learn to sing in a healthy way for your voice.”

Lidyoff was 8 when she played Little Cosette in the Maverick Theater production of Les Miserable, Noelle’s introduction to performing with adults. Lidyoff was in the La Mirada Theater productions of Number the Stars and The Giver  when she was 10 and 11, respectively.

Noelle Lidyoff’s first performance was as a starfish in the Little Mermaid in first grade. Photo courtesy of Noelle Lidyoff.
Noelle Lidyoff performed in Shrek as young Fiona at Cerritos Performing Arts Center in 2019. Photo by Lily Lim for 3D Theatricals.
Regional theater: Becoming a professional

Lidyoff was in the ensemble for the 3-D Theatricals 2018 production of Parade in Redondo Beach. “It’s a really heavy musical. I was young when I did it, but the music in Parade is so good,” Lidyoff said. “As I started doing less Suessical and all the young musicals, and I did more mature musicals, I fell in love with the songwriting and the music aspect.”

Through 3-D Theatricals, Lidyoff was also in Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat and played a young Fiona in Shrek the Musical.

Lanette Lidyoff says she can’t remember when she realized her daughter had a musical gift. “I think you figure that out when other people tell you,” Lanette said. “With some kids they want it, they work hard for it, they love it. And that was true for Noelle at an early age.”

Noelle was playing Molly in a local production of Annie when another theater mom got Lanette Lidyoff in touch with an agent to represent her daughter. 

Noelle auditioned for jobs in Los Angeles for about four years. “It’s a lot of work,” Lanette said. “It’s exhausting because once you get an agent you have to drop what you’re doing with no notice and drive to LA, grab the script and memorize it.”

Noelle booked a few small gigs and gained some professional training, but most of her experience came from Irvine’s Voices of Hope Children’s Choir.

Noelle Lidyoff performed in Shrek as young Fiona at Cerritos Performing Arts Center in 2019. Photo by Lily Lim for 3D Theatricals.
Watch the 2018 Voices of Hope performance on America’s Got Talent on YouTube. In the above screenshot, Noelle Lidyoff wears a blue shirt in the second row. She can be seen in the video at minute 1:24.
Voices of Hope Children’s Choir

Lidyoff joined the Voices of Hope Children’s Choir, a tuition-free choir for children ages 5–17, in third grade. The choir’s goal is to help the younger generation learn to love music, and it’s directed by Sarah Grandpré who became Lidyoff ’s mentor.

“At the time I met Noelle, she was extremely passionate about musical theater,” Grandpré said. “She was just happy to be part of anything musical. So eager. So prepared. So excited. Little voices tend to go toward that sort of bright musical theater sound anyway.”

Grandpré said that as Noelle matured, she moved away from musical theater.

“As much as she loved musical theater, that wasn’t something she really wanted to continue, probably because she has such a knack for songwriting,” Grandpré said. “She started working really hard on songwriting. Every time she would write another song, her own artistry—her own personality—would come out a little bit more.”

Lidyoff says she “just started out as a choir kid. Then [Grandpré] started giving me solos, and that gave me a lot of confidence in my own voice.”

That confidence multiplied when the Voices of Hope Children’s Choir auditioned for the 2018 season of America’s Got Talent.

“We went out there not really expecting anything,” Lidyoff said. “And then we got a golden buzzer, which was really cool.” The choir performed four times, making it to the semifinals.

Watch Noelle Lidyoff sing Anne Wilson’s “My Jesus” for Hour of Power on YouTube.
Mentors create opportunities

It was through Sarah Grandpré that the Voices of Hope Children’s Choir were invited to perform on Hour of Power, the Irvine-based religious television program. Then Lidyoff was invited to perform on Hour as a soloist several times.

Hour “even orchestrated two of her original songs,” Lanette Lidyoff said. “And that’s all through who you meet and the friendships you make, to be honest. We’re grateful for the people she meets.”

When Noelle was 12, Voices of Hope Children’s Choir performed at Anaheim Hills’s Influence Church. Noelle, already a songwriter, shared her work with Melody Noel Hernandez, the head of a faith-based artist collective from Anaheim Hills’s Influence Church. Hernandez decided to teach Noelle songwriting.

“Melody always told me there’s a way to learn. There are rules to learn,” Lidyoff said. “And then once you learn the rules, you break them.”

Listen to “Million Little Things” on YouTube.
Million Little Things: Writing a great song

Lidyoff says that “Million Little Things” was one of the first songs she felt confident about.

She wrote it by playing her guitar and experimenting with different riffs until she found a sound she liked. “I started playing that, and then I think that gave me a melody,” she said. “And then, from that melody, I kind of got a vibe for the lyrics and the mood of the song.”

She recorded a demo of it and produced it using her MIDI keyboard. “I’m always hard on my songwriting because I love to challenge myself and make things better. I’m kind of a perfectionist,” Lidyoff said. “But [“Million Little Things”] was one of the first songs where I thought, ‘This is actually good,’ and, ‘This could actually be something.’”

A few years later at a songwriting masterclass, Melody Noel introduced Lidyoff to music producer Rick Seibold, and the trio formed Della Luz. (The band’s name is semi-Spanish-Italian for Of the Light, picked for its religious overtones.)

The band’s first project was producing Lidyoff’s “Million Little Things.” “We rewrote a few things, like there was a bridge originally in this song that we took out,” Lidyoff said. “We kind of just reworked it a little bit, but most of the lyrics are original.”

Lidyoff is Della Luz’s primary songwriter and vocalist, but she has the support and experience of Noel and Seibold to help her create broadcast-quality songs. 

Although Seibold moved to Tennessee last year, he still helps Lidyoff produce from recordings Lidyoff sends him.

Lanette Lidyoff is happy that her daughter can collaborate with artists in Nashville. “So much of this music world is being authentic and showing your gift and being willing to learn and not be arrogant,” Lanette said. “Being humble goes a long way.”

Free Fullerton Church (EvFree Fullerton)
Lidyoff leads worship during a Christmas service in 2023. Photo courtesy of Noelle Lidyoff.

Lidyoff is on the worship team at EvFree Fullerton Church. She leads worship when she has enough time and tries to lead the main service at least once a month.

EvFree worship development director Connor Phaff said he saw how talented Noelle was when she showed her range during high school worship auditions.

“I had her lead the worship song ‘What a Beautiful Name’ in a bunch of different keys. Her range is so wide,” Phaff said. “Her voice has the richness and depth of someone much older.” 

Noelle said: “I still write worship music. I think if I ever release my own music, I would also release worship because that’s really important to who I am.”

Noelle Lidyoff performs two original songs at the Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles in December 2022. Photo courtesy of Noelle Lidyoff.
2024 YoungArts Award: Time for collaboration

Noelle was a winner of the national YoungArts award this year. Along with a cash prize, YoungArts supports winners throughout their careers. Lidyoff won this year in the voice singer/songwriter division. 

Lidyoff met other winners in Los Angeles in February and worked with songwriter winners from Georgia and Utah.

“It was super cool because they split us up into three cohorts, and my cohort was all jazz players,” Lidyoff said. “Jazz is so spontaneous. You just get together with people and play. I wanted to do ‘Feeling Good’ by Michael Buble. They knew it, so I just played my guitar, and they did it, it was so cool.”

She also connected with a spoken word poet and a fashion designer. “We were talking about how it’s so cool to be in an environment like this, because a lot of times in high school people don’t respect art as a career,” Lidyoff said. “When we come together, though, we see the potential that our artistry has to change the world.”

Noelle Lidyoff performs two original songs at the Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles in December 2022. Photo courtesy of Noelle Lidyoff.
Noelle Lidyoff at the LA Habra Depot Theater in 2018 opening for Aloe Blacc. Photo courtesy of Steve Cisneros.
Summer, Fall and Beyond

Lidyoff said that she would like to devote this summer to recording music under her own name. “I would love to release an EP in the fall,” she said. “I have a lot of songs that I think are good enough.”

Lidyoff’s goal is to write 100 songs this year. “A hundred songs is average for songwriters in the music industry,” she said. “It’s like two songs a week, which is kind of a lot. But that’s a goal of mine: just writing as much as I can and expanding my creativity.”

Lanette Lidyoff says she wants artistry to be a part of her daughter’s future but, given the competitive nature of the business, her career could go in any direction.

“She would love to be an artist and perform music, but she’s also a gifted songwriter. She’s been gifted with the ability to put lyrics together,” Lanette said. “She has so many songs right now in voice memos and half-produced songs on her computer. She writes every day.”

Her mentor Sarah Grandpré expects Lidyoff to be successful because of her realistic mindset and her authentic love of music. “She’s seen inside the music industry so she understands what her options are. Because of that mindset, she’s going to be so successful,” Grandpré said. “I think she would love to go to a music school to be around her peers. She’s such a people person.”

Lidyoff says she has time to develop. “I’m 17 and most people don’t start working in the industry until they’re in their 20s.”

“The dream would be to be in school, maybe as a music business major, and also write, join writing rooms, sing at open mics, just get heard,” she said. “That’s one vision, but I’m open to other possibilities.”

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