Popular event returns to Jenkins Auditorium for first time since 2019 due to pandemic
The Malden High Choral Arts Society recently held its first annual Winter Concert since 2019, as it was held virtually last year. The concert, which was held in-person at Malden High School’s Jenkins Auditorium, was divided into three sections, Mixed Chorus, Madrigal Singers and the Concert Choir, with each section performing a variety of different holiday-themed songs.
Concert Choir Singer and Senior Krista Micalizzi said one of the biggest challenges this year was that the performers were required to wear masks during the concert. Choir Director and Malden High longtime educator Todd Cole agreed that the mandated mask-wearing due to Malden municipal COVID-19 protocol was a challenge, but added it was exciting for his singers to be able to perform in person this year and that the evening was a major success.
Concert Choir Singer and Senior Lucas Williams said he felt as though the buildup to the concert was much more nerve-racking than the actual concert itself. “Obviously there were times during the concert where I felt nervous because I had to make sure I had my parts right so my section could hear me… but the only nervousness I saw in other people were memorizing parts, like ‘Oh Holy Night,’ or the pitch we had to sing for certain songs,” Williams said.
In addition to wearing masks, Micalizzi said that the song “Silent Night” was somewhat challenging since it had been so long since they had performed the time-honored audience favorite. “I think we were able to pull through in the end with ‘Silent Night.’ It was something we all remembered and were able to click with,” she said.
Cole said some of his choir singers were somewhat nervous before the concert, but it was balanced with a visible sense of excitement, with all of the individual groups. “I noticed an excitement that we actually get to perform again for an audience,” he said, noting that the choir at Malden High had not performed at an in-person concert in two years.
“It brings me so much joy…it’s what we do, it’s what we rehearse, it’s our whole purpose, and they were so excited we got to do a winter concert this year,” Choir Director Cole said.
A big highlight for Williams was the shining moment he was able to experience during his solo performance of “I Saw Three Ships.” Williams said that he was glad he could have a solo as “you’re typically not chosen for them if you’re not a senior,” and “even though it was really short I was really happy that I did it before I left for college.”
Concert Choir and Madrigals Singer Senior Mateus Flaherty has been in choir for two years and was excited to finally be able to do his first solo as well for “The Chanukah Song: We Are Lights” along with Senior Yusra Tafaroui. He said he was nervous beforehand, but “proud of the whole concert,” adding that “it all came together in the end.”
Cole added, “I did not notice nerves so much, not even with my ninth-graders. I think that they were so prepared that they were excited to do it.” Part of the fun this year for Cole was that along with his chief task of leading the choir through conducting and cue-ing performers, he was also able to join the Madrigals Singers in their performance of “Fum Fum Fum“ and “Carol of the Bells.”
“I was really proud of the kids,” Cole said. “I think that they did a wonderful job, especially coming off of a year of almost no choral singing.” Although it went by fast, “all of the songs came together beautifully in the end,” he added, resulting in a successful night for everyone.
This is a version of a story appearing in the latest edition of The Blue and Gold, the Malden High School student newspaper. Carlos Aragon contributed to this story.