Autumn Vallee performs at the South Cariboo Farmers’ Market with her family. (Patrick Davies - 100 Mile Free Press)

12 year old makes public musical debut at the farmers market

‘I was not as nervous as I thought I’d be’

Music has returned to the South Cariboo Farmers’ Market and gave the chance for one young aspiring artist to try her hand at singing in public for the first time on Friday, July 3.

Tall for her age, Autumn Vallee is only 12 years of age but already possesses a clear and strong voice that, supported by her parents Joe and Brenda, she showcased for the community last week. Both of her parents are musicians and teachers and have been homeschooling Autumn for all her life, something she’s quite enjoyed.

While she’s always loved to sing, recently Autumn has begun to express more of an interest in it which led her father, Joe, to ask her to sing with him after he got the gig to provide live music at the farmer’s market. She agreed to give it a try because she feels she needs more practice singing in front of people and getting used to it.

“I was not as nervous as I thought I’d be,” Autumn said. “I felt a little nervous, I knew there was going to be people listening but I just figured if I just put all my energy into singing rather then worrying then it would (work out.)”

Autumn said that she’d definitely like to sing in public again given the chance as she has the ambition to become a professional singer/songwriter when she grows up. Her personal preference is country with a bit of pop right now and she said she’d like to work on her music while she’s young.

Both Brenda and Joe were very proud of their daughter, according to Brenda. Brenda said the Vallee family has been in the community for the last three and a half years since moving here from Shanghai where she and Joe were teaching English as a second language. Brenda said her family enjoys the space of 100 Mile House and the easy access to lakes and all sorts of recreational activities.

Musically, Brenda said she’s been making music all her life and that until recently she and Joe were members of a band called 100 Miles From Nowhere, which had to break up when members moved away. They continue to play music in their home, however, and Brenda said Joe is an excellent guitar player.

When Autumn began expressing an interest in music recently, Brenda said they decided to try and get her more involved with what they do both around the house and the community.

“She really enjoys listening to country music so that’s kind of her genre of choice so if she can sing on the radio, she’s happy, and my husband accompanies her on the guitar and I add in vocals and harmonies where I can and we just enjoy doing music together,” Brenda said.

When it comes to being a musician, Brenda said there is a difference between knowing your music and performing your music which is why she felt it was important to give Autumn a chance to display the former. During house parties she said they’ve done their best to encourage her to join in when she and Joe would perform. The farmers market gave her a chance to perform outside of their living room and kick it up a notch, Brenda said, by performing in front of complete strangers.

In that regard, she feels her daughter did very well and was easily able to keep the lyrics of the songs to the set in her mind. Brenda feels Autumn’s nerves didn’t bother her at all and said she remarked on how calm she was before performing.

“It was really fun and really nice to be able to sing together, I grew up singing with my family so it’s nice to be able to do that for another generation,” Brenda said.

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Autumn Vallee performs at the South Cariboo Farmers’ Market with her family. (Patrick Davies - 100 Mile Free Press)

The South Cariboo Farmers’ Market. (Patrick Davies - 100 Mile Free Press)

Autumn Vallee with her parents Joe and Brenda. (Patrick Davies - 100 Mile Free Press)

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