This past week I attended two holiday concerts–at Torey J. Sabatini Elementary School and Madison High School. I’ve been attending district concerts on a yearly basis for the past eight years and this was the first time I actually saw the MHS chorus and Orchestra Concert.
I must say, as I sat back in my front row center seat (chosen by my fifth grade twins), I was tired and stressed out from a hectic week. Truth be told, I really had so much left to do to get ready for the holidays, that I looked at this as just another “Motherly Duty,” to support my 11th grade daughter. I couldn’t have been more wrong!
Listening to the music, I felt like I was in Symphony Hall. The sound of the chorus, the guitar ensemble, and the symphony orchestra was so beautiful, I wondered why I never took the time to just come and enjoy the music before. What these young men and women accomplish in their years of dedication to the music program is simply amazing. The highlight of the evening was Handel’s Hallelujah! The tradition continues that all MHS Music Department alumni join on the stage in singing this majestic piece, while the audience all stands. I couldn’t put into words the emotion in the room during that piece, other than to say “and may Madison music reign forever and ever.”
The next afternoon, once again I attended the holiday concert for my twins. Well,
all I could think of was what the future will hold for these fourth and fifth graders who choose to continue participating in the music programs. Obviously, they didn’t sound anything like the MHS students, but nonetheless they played and sung their hearts out. I especially enjoyed a song sung by the chorus called “Light a Candle for Peace,” where the children learned to not only sing but also sign the words they were singing.
I pay tribute to all the teachers, parents and performers in the Madison Music Department. They do an excellent job encouraging the children to use their talents and share their love of music. I also applaud the active membership of the Madison Music Association. After having had their department budget cut several times over the last few years, they started an award-winning marching band and a new booster club–The Producers Club as a means to ensure the students are able to continue their dreams in the music department. I have noticed that many active members of the MMA attend most of the Board of Education meetings and have spoken up on several occasions requesting to work with the board to enable the music department to maintain its staff, and even request that the department head position be reinstated to a full-time position. I hope they achieve the growth and success that the students deserve.
Music is more than a pastime in Madison; it is a passion! I strongly encourage anyone who has not seen a concert performed by MHS students to attend one. Don’t wait until your child is in it–just go for the pure enjoyment of it. You will not be disappointed!