A Perfect Performance

LRHS Madrigals

Gabby Connor, Writer

Throughout the aisles, smiles emerge from the audience as the Madrigals’ harmonic voices cascade from the stage. The Madrigals group is well known for its wonderfully crafted costumes and on point lyricism. After all the rehearsals, the performers belt their parts beautifully.

However, behind each well-orchestrated performance there always seems to be the pressure to make it perfect. “It is only stressful when I know the concerts are coming up,” Junior pianist and Madrigals performer Jiaqi Deng comments about the hard work revolving around the singing group.

Reminiscing about the winter concert she attended, Freshman Faith Benson enthused, “I was impressed with how professional they looked and how nicely they harmonized together.”

Madrigals, a highly esteemed tradition, has been present in Howard County longer than Long Reach High School has existed. “One year a drama teacher decided to put his choir singers in Renaissance costumes, and the tradition just started,” explains Chorus Director June Pompei.

“All I want from Madrigals is for them to do the best they can do. It’s not about the trophies but how well they can do. I want them to get the most out of their experience.”

— Ms. Pompei

When Long Reach was first built in 1996, Ms. Pompei formed the initial chamber choir. She hired someone to make Renaissance costumes for the students, and, thus, the Long Reach Madrigal group was born.

Throughout the year, Madrigals juggle a series of school performances: Christmas Caroling, Adjudication, and their annual spring trip. According to Ms. Pompei, “Preparing for concerts or adjudication can really add on to the pressure, especially with so many things going on at once like the spring trip.”

The Adjudication competition raises the stakes by challenging the performers to memorize lyrics and pitches for multiple songs at once. It can get quite hectic for the singers and Ms. Pompei while tackling this feat, in addition to preparing for the Madrigals’ school performances, concert choir performances, and trips.

Amidst their demanding circumstances, Madrigals enjoy several perks, including caroling down Long Reach hallways prior to winter break and performing at the graduation ceremony. The annual trip is just another benefit, such as this year’s destination to Virginia.

“One year, we performed at Riverside Church in New York City. The audience loved the outfits, and we got number one ratings. We were invited back,” says Ms. Pompei.

The stress may be a bit intimidating, but, overall, the Madrigals really do have fun and do their best at performing. Ms. Pompei hopes all members remember that this is what Madrigals is really about.