Singing helps Sherwood girl gain confidence, find her voice
Maddie Green performs solos as the third-century saint, Sankta Lucia, complete with a crown of lit candles
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.)
"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.
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!"
(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.