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Singing helps Sherwood girl gain confidence, find her voice

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Maddie Green performs solos as the third-century saint, Sankta Lucia, complete with a crown of lit candles


PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: MILES VANCE - Maddie Green, an 11-year-old sixth-grader at Laurel Ridge Middle School, practices her solo before two church performances earlier this month. Back when Maddie Green was 7 years old in 2012 and attending school in the Columbia Gorge, the Sherwood girl would barely talk, concerning both her teachers and her parents.

However, Stephen Rønshaugen Galván, music director at Bethel Congregational Church in Beaverton, saw something in her after hearing her sing during Sunday services.

He then asked Maddie's mother Michele if the young girl could audition for the solo as Sankta Lucia in the next ISing choir concert. (Sankta Lucia, or St. Lucy, is a third-century saint who legend has it, brought aid to Christians in the catacombs by using a candle-lit wreath to guide her.)

Michele's thoughts?

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP - ISing Artistic Director/Conductor Stephen Galvan, center, lights the candles on Maddie Green's crown for her solo as Sankta Lucia during a dress rehearsal for ISing's 'Mus(e)cology' for two performances held at Portland's St. Peter Catholic Church and Beaverton's Bethel Congregational United Church earlier this month."Maddie? Sing in public? A solo?" Michelle recalled thinking. "With real lit candles on her head? She doesn't even talk in class!"

However, Michelle also knew that Maddie had a special gift, so after receiving Maddie's permission, the young girl, who is now 11 years old and is a sixth-grader at Laurel Ridge Middle School, agreed.

"Steve had Maddie walk into the bustling rehearsal space and start singing," said Michele Green. "The room, filled with over 80 people, went silent. She was immediately given the role of Sankta Lucia. Maddie had found her voice."

The ISing Choir's mission is to share high quality, educational, culturally diverse choral music while supporting local non-profit groups.

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: MILES VANCE - Maddie Green's  candles contain special interior chambers to collect the melting wax, minimizing outside dripping.
The Green family eventually moved back to their home of Sherwood, and through music and the confidence that ISing had given her, Madeline became a talkative second-grader at Edy Ridge Elementary.

In 2015, she sang the solo in the performance of Chichester Psalms at ISing's 10th anniversary concerts in front of hundreds of people, backed by an adult choir of 81 members and the entire Beaverton Symphony Orchestra.

"Since I sang and walked with lit candles a few years ago when I was seven, I wasn't really nervous," said Maddie, who is the lead singer and keyboardist of a rock band, the Hot Shots, and plays piano. "I was more excited than anything. I love performing and ISing is a really great choir to be able to sing with. I had so much fun. I always have fun with them, and look forward to my next performance!"

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: MILES VANCE - Stephen Galvan, music director at Bethel Congregational Church, leads a choir through its paces during a dress rehearsal for ISing's Mus(e)cology, which they performed earlier this month. Galvan is the one who encouraged Maddie's singing after hearing her in church one Sunday. (For the record, those candles on her crown are modified, containing special chambers to collect the wax, minimizing exterior dripping.)

Maddie sang again as a guest soloist last winter in the role of a fairy for "A Midwinter Night's Dream," and has also performed in the ISing fundraiser concerts and a soloist at the state capital under the direction of Dani Aldinger.

A performance at Broadway Rose in "The Littlest Mermaid" was another of her great adventures. As a volunteer for ISing, she has helped raise over $200,000 for worthy causes in the Beaverton and Portland areas.

Specifically she has helped them raise $9,571 for My Voice Music, $13,478 for the Beaverton Police Activities League, $11,776 for Portland Actors Ensemble and at this concert, and over $9,000 for Reclaim It, a nonprofit arts and reuse retail store in Portland.

Maddie is a straight-A student who loves animals, taekwondo and gymnastics.