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Malden High Spring Concert returns to stage with flourish and flair

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‘Mama Mia, Mama Mia!’ MHS ensembles put a historical, cultural touch on performance 

Selections range from 1500s to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, sung in five different languages

  He may not be a history teacher, but Malden High School Choral Arts Society Director Todd Cole surely knows how to connect the past to the present.

    On Wednesday night, his four ensembles performed with flourish and flair as the MHS Spring Choral Concert made a triumphant return to the Jenkins Auditorium after a two-year “pandemic pause”.

   The mix of selections was eclectic, dramatic and historical in both context and culture — ranging in timeline from selections as far back as the 1500s, to a rousing rendition of the Queen/Freddie Mercury iconic anthem, Bohemian Rhapsody.

     The variety continued with a musical scene, acted and sung right out of West Side Story by the Concert Choir Tenors and Bass singers, Gee, Officer Krupke — and the Concert Choir’s rendition of the Beatles’ hit, Eleanor Rigby.

     Before every selection was performed, Director Cole gave a brief introduction and often an anecdote to accompany the performance.

    When introducing his various ensembles, which total nearly 90 students, Cole proudly noted some recent statewide award winners. In a state adjudication performance at Norwood High School, Cole’s Concert Choir took the Silver Medal and the Madrigals were awarded the Bronze Medal.

     On Wednesday night, in addition to the historical element, Cole pointed out that in his concert; there was also a distinctive cultural piece as selections were performed in five different languages: Hebrew, French, German, Spanish and Italian.

    “For every concert, we wish to introduce a challenge,” Cole told the audience. “The challenge we introduced here was a number of songs in different languages, some of them (the Concert Choir) learned in just the past three weeks.”

     Cole had special thanks for all of those who assisted and contributed to the success of the concert, including the Malden Public Schools Central Office administration and Malden High School administration and staff, as well as Choir Manager, MHS senior Roxanne Leon. He had special thanks for Cindy Horsman McKeen, who accompanied many of the selections on piano, as well as Erin Mazza, MHS Band Director, and a mini-band ensemble of Joao Bereta, Donald Ford, Kai Gomes and Finn Sedan, who joined the Concert Choir for the Bohemian Rhapsody selection.

    Following are the selections performed at Spring Concert:

MIXED CHORUS: Hashivenu (arr Michael Ryan); J’entends Le Moulin (arr Emily Crocker); Bist Du Bel Mir (Bach/arr Robinson); Yo Le Canto Todo El Dia (David L. Brunner); Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel? (arr Greg Gilpin)

MADRIGAL SINGERS: O What Shall I Do? (Thomas Weelkes); Come, Sirrah Jack. Ho! (Guillaume Costeley); He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother (arr Jay Althouse).

CONCERT CHOIR TENORS and BASSES: Gee, Officer Krupke from West Side Story (Leonard Bernstein)

CONCERT CHOIR: Sing, My Child (Sarah Quartel). Soloists: Alyssa Littlejohn and James Holland; Percussion- Finn Sedan; O, My Luve’s Like A Red, Red Rose  {David Dickau); Domine Fili Unigente (Antonio Vivaldi); Eleanor Rigby (arr Arnold Freed)l; Hamilton Highlights (arr Lisa Despain); Rise Up (arr Mac Huff). 

GEE, OFFICER KRUPKE — The Concert Choir Tenors and Basses act and sing during a selection right out of West Side Story.
The Malden High Concert Choir performs at the first Spring Concert since 2019.
James Song performs a solo piece during a Concert Choir selection.
MAMA MIA, MAMA MIA! — Soloist James Holland does solo work on the rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody.

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