StellaRising, a female fronted band formed in Charlotte, NC brings captivating sounds and authentic mixture of radio-friendly original rock/pop songs and energetic covers fused with rock, pop, and funk. Formed in 2009, the acoustic duo quickly made its mark on audiences and musicians alike in Charlotte and surrounding areas. By the fall of 2010, the duo formed the remaining band line up.
Kristi Ormand is the lead singer whose musical background can be traced to an early age. While working full time she decided it was professional training that gave her the confidence and opportunity to finally pursue her lifelong passion of creating music. While playing in several venues as well as private parties around Charlotte, Kristi began honing her craft by further developing her songwriting. She drew upon her personal experiences and surroundings for inspiration along this creative journey. An introduction to her lead guitarist, Tony Oliver-Paull (by Mike Graci) helped Kristi record some of her newly written material. Kristi and Tony formed an instant bond which led them to begin writing as a team a few short months after their fateful meeting. The pair recorded two new compositions, “Hard to Breathe” and “This Is Who I Want To Be”, at the Knothole Recording Studio in Waxhaw, NC with help from Chris Revels on bass and Mike Graci on drums. In 2011, Kristi was also a Charlotte Music Awards Women in Rock and Singer/Songwriter nominee. StellaRising's original song "This Is Who I Want To Be" is also a 2011 finalist for Charlotte Music Awards song of the year.
Tony Oliver-Paull’s passion for music led him to earn a degree in Music Performance at Winthrop University with a focus on jazz and classical guitar. With over a decade of experience, his influences include such bands as The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, The Who and Coltrane, his musical style is continuously evolving. Tony currently teaches guitar, and performs with other acoustic duos such as The Escape Artists and Reckless. He occasionally fills in for The Stranger, a Billy Joel Tribute Band. He is currently pursuing his master's degree in music at Winthrop.
Marty Connell was classically trained on piano at early age. But it wasn't until after college, when he bought his first electronic keyboard, that a whole new world of music and composition was opened up to him via synthesis and MIDI. He used these tools to write and record arrangements that were used in bands and church settings. He began playing contemporary music live in local churches that started with 100 people and moved into settings playing at conferences and conventions with thousands in attendance. In order to expand his music experience, he joined some secular bands and played everything from rock and country, to blues and jazz. His early influences were keyboard legends like Rick Wakeman and Keith Emerson and currently views Jordan Rudess as the standard as to which every other keyboardist is measured.
With decades of experience combined, Stella’s live performance showcases each member’s talents, whether it’s catchy hooks or outstanding musicianship. This five-piece can customize a versatile songlist to fit any event ranging from full electric to acoustic shows. Stella’s contagious sound will have you grooving and coming back for more. This group is making their mark, so you don’t want to miss out on Stella as they rise to the top. StellaRising's EP titled 'Motion was released in the fall of 2011, and 'Karma' will be released in 2013.