Dani Licona-Cruz also contributed to this article.
The Malden High School Choral Arts Society and their band participate in the annual Massachusetts Instrumental Choral & Conductors Association (MICCA). It is something that both classes work towards for the first and middle half of the year.
Due to the pandemic, it has been two years since both the chorus and band had participated.
For the Choral Arts Society, Choir Director Todd Cole realized that even though he had seniors in his class, no one had performed at MICCA before.
He had expected the seniors to have an understanding of how the festival would go, what the “expectations were” and could at least help out, but later realized that would not be the case this year.
Senior Natalia Matos and longstanding alto section leader of the Choral Arts Society admitted that she “didn’t have any real expectations coming into MICCA.”
Matos explained that she was “going into it blind, not having experienced it before. I knew I was going to be nervous and intimidated.”
But as the performances went on, Matos stated that she was “able to tune out the nervousness and sing the best of my abilities and I was able to actually have fun with it.”
Each performance is scored by adjudicators. The score is evaluated by the diction, posture and overall sound.
Senior Yusra Tafraoui, the sopranos section leader, felt that participating in MICCA was still a “very exciting” experience despite the competitive atmosphere.
The concert choir group that performed was awarded a silver medal for their performances that day.
The songs that the band had prepared to perform at MICCA were “Country Gardens,” “Ave Maria” and “Brighton Beach.” This year was different than past years because they practiced six feet apart at the beginning of the year due to COVID-19 protocols, which made it extremely difficult for them. Senior Donald Ford confirmed that the band members were happy to return regardless of the protocols; it felt good for them to be performing together again.
With their fantastic performance, the band was also granted a silver medal. Although members would agree that they “needed to work on some small things in the songs,” they did not fail to acknowledge their efforts for this award.