Graduating senior wows audiences with angelic voice

Photo+courtesy+of+Madi+Morales
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Graduating senior wows audiences with angelic voice

Photo courtesy of Madi Morales

Photo courtesy of Madi Morales

Photo courtesy of Madi Morales

Photo courtesy of Madi Morales

By Amy Grunther, Features editor

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Many people dream of being singers and spend their childhoods belting out in the shower, however, not all people can make their dreams a reality. Known in West Essex mostly by her lead roles in Grease (Sandy) and Seussical (Maysie), senior Madi Morales is an opera expert, as well as a former dancer, and musical theater star.

Morales started singing pop at a young age and would sing anything she heard on the radio. When she was 11, her parents signed her up for a summer camp, where she first met her voice teacher. Although Morales did have a good pop voice, her voice teacher thought she had potential in the opera realm, so Morales started formally training in opera.

“Opera cam pretty naturally to me,” Morales said.

Morale’s  first real performance was at a recital hosted by her voice teacher where she sang a Spanish arts song. After this performance, it was as if she never left the stage and her opera career continued to flourish. Going into her freshman year of high school, Morales participated in a summer opera program at Westminster.

“It was my first experience in a professional setting so that was pretty cool,” Madi said.

The Summer before her junior year of high school, she attended Tanglewood institute for 6 weeks and she says that this is when she knew that she wanted to pursue music for the rest of her life. Morales said that she never thought she’d go into opera, she thought she would lean more towards business, but after her experience at Tanglewood, she realized opera was her true passion.

Madi says that her biggest performance was when she was awarded the ability to sing at Carnegie Hall.

“Getting to sing on the stage was an out of body experience,” Madi said.

Although Madi’s biggest focus is opera, she began doing musical theater at a young age and was in musical theater groups outside of West essex until junior year.

“Musical theater was like a gateway into opera for me,” Madi said.

Madi was a part of the Papermill Playhouse Broadway show choir until her junior year, and took dance classes as a kid. She has participated in three musicals in the Masquers program here at West Essex including, The Little Mermaid, Grease, and Seussical.

In October Morales applied to a foundation called National Youngarts Foundation. She sent in videos of her singing and soon she found out that she won. She competed in Miami for a week doing master classes and auditions. Madi says that this was a very transformative time for her and she met amazing people and made very good connections. During this time, she found out that she could apply to be a presidential scholar which is looked at one of the highest honors for high school students. Morales had to complete a long application of five essays and made it to the first round then the semis, and a few weeks ago she found out that she was a presidential scholar. On June 23, Madi will be going to D.C. for a ceremony where she was asked to sing the national anthem.

Besides singing, Madi has several other hobbies, including doing yoga, playing piano and viola, and running. Madi plays viola in the orchestra here at West Essex. Madi will be attending Eastman school of music, and she plans on continuing her studies of opera.