MHS Chorus Delivers Cheerful Holiday Performance at Massachusetts State House

For the first time in two years, the Malden High Concert Chorus and Madrigals performed at the statehouse to celebrate and bring cheer with songs of the winter season.

Students and staff of Malden High’s chorus pose for a photo with staff from the State House. Photo submitted by Emmalyn Woods.

Brian Vences, a junior and two-year member of the chorus, reflected on how large and majestic the building itself was: “It was really cool. That place has a lot of ring echo to where, if you hold the note, you’re going to hear that go through the halls because it’s all marble, and it’s just this vast open area.” He also remarked on its sound, saying that “it’s got great acoustics. It was just incredible.”

Adding to what he said, senior Alyssa Littlejohn shared that “my favorite memory was definitely the moment I hit the highest note in my solo of ‘I Wonder as I Wander.’ There is a slight pause, so just hearing that high note and the accompaniment of the choir just ring throughout the State House was just the most incredible sound and I took in every moment of it.”

Vences elaborated on the schedule that was laid out for them that day. “So we arrived, we got settled for a little bit, and then we got tours of the State House. We got to go around the State House and see all of this stuff that happens and where all the senators… and the representatives and people work. We got to see all the flags, as they have a flag of every city in Massachusetts. We looked at Malden’s flag and we took some pictures and then we came back. We did some warm-ups and then we started our concert at around 12.”

Reflecting on a similar experience, Littlejohn said, “We got settled. Then, we split up for tours, which was about 40 minutes to an hour where we got to tour the State House… Afterward, we made our way back to the grand staircase and we got ourselves organized. We warmed up a little bit because we had already warmed up before we left but we were getting used to the acoustics and we just touched upon a few things.”

Todd Cole, the choir teacher at Malden for 20 years, remarked on everyone’s reactions: “For some of them this was the very first time seeing just the building itself as it makes an impression on you. And then the acoustic in there. It’s just striking when a choir sings in there and gets that much ring, that much echo.”

When the show began, people began coming out of their offices to come to watch the Concert Choir perform on the grand staircase. If some could not, they opened their doors to hear the heavenly melody. “We’re standing there for like an hour, hour and a half on hard marble stairs, singing,” Vences described.

Reflecting on the whole event, Cole stated that “I’m just grateful for all the support. Just the fact that they have this event for us to go sing at the State House.” Vences added on, saying, “Join Concert Choir and then when you do that, join the madrigals!”

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