There is an unmistakable feeling when you hear a bow drawn across the strings of an instrument. When you combine a double bass, cello, violins and viola, the hum reverberates through your whole body. 

String quintet Bella Canna wield their bows with precision; not only creating beautiful renditions of timeless pieces, but engaging audiences, young and old. 

The five Bundaberg musicians – Alison Vercoe (cello), Kate Hardisty (violin), Wendy Davis (violin), Bernadette Connolly (viola) and Nicole Strohfeldt (double bass) – began playing as a quintet in 2020. 

“Within the five of us, there’s an unspoken language that goes on as we play, which is really, really special. We can do some sort of gesture to one another and know exactly what the other meant. It’s an unspoken musical connection,” Kate said.

Kate, Bernadette and Alison have been playing together for more than 18 years, forming special friendships with the other group members along the way. 

“When you’re playing and having fun it comes through the music. When there is a connection with the music, there’s a connection with the audience. And if there’s a connection with the audience, everybody’s going to have a wonderful time and really enjoy the message and the music,” Kate said.

After a range of special performances in 2021, the ensemble are planning a series of concert performances throughout 2022.

“We want to bring classical music to more accessible venues and events so more people can enjoy the magic of live classical music, where we can engage with the audience, verbally as well as musically, to create a connection,” Kate said. 

“The audience gets to hear from all of us, what we think about music and why we chose particular pieces.” 


For event listings visit Bella Canna’s Facebook page.