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John Paul the Great student is graced in the arts

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Singing — who has not rocked out to their favorite song on the commute to work or had an impromptu concert in their living room when they were little? Music stirs the hearts of many and is present in everyone’s lives in some capacity. For one student at Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School in Dumfries, singing is her life. Madison Perry, a junior, is a professionally trained classical singer. From a young age, she has found a home performing onstage.

Perry has a background in ballet and musical theater, but found her niche in classical music when she joined her church choir in middle school. Classical music quickly found a special place in her life as she began to pursue opportunities to grow and develop her abilities, all the while cultivating her art. Her voice is her instrument and she loves using her gifts to inspire those around her.

Not surprisingly, her resume is extensive and remarkable. She has performed at world-renowned venues and with several professional ensembles. As a three-time all-district choir participant for Prince William County, a two-time all-state participant and an all-national participant, she has demonstrated not only her talent, but also her work ethic.

At John Paul the Great, she is a member of St. Cecilia Chorale, the auditiononly honors choir that travels in the local area to share the beauty of music. Just last December, the ensemble was invited to perform at the National Gallery of Art in Washington. The students brought both secular and religious music to life under the magnificent rotunda, representing the school in one of the best ways possible: telling the story of Jesus’ birth and encapsulating the beauty and joy of the season for their audience. Perry performed a solo, “Gesu Bambino,” moving many to tears. The soaring and sonorous notes, the sophisticated enunciation and the passion with which she performed left its mark that day.

Constantly searching for ways to further her artistic abilities, Perry works with a private vocal coach at the Mason Community Arts Academy along with Kelly Kingett, her choir director, at John Paul the Great. Under her coach’s instruction, she attended the 2019 National Association for Teachers of Singing Orpheus Competition and won first place for the high school division. This accomplishment, along with her selection to both the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Young Vocal Artist Summer Intensive and the Washington National Opera Institute, reveals her dedication to her craft and her drive to grow as a performer and artist.

“I am so proud of her commitment to excellence and her perseverance in music,” said Kingett. “She is a shining example of how hard work and consistent practice pays off.”

Gifted beyond measure, Perry motivates those around her to put their best foot forward and brings a special light to performing arts at her school. Beloved by her fellow cast members, she is performing in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” as Ella this spring and starred in the title role of Jo in last year’s production of “Little Women.”

“The main reason I love to sing is because it really does make me so much happier, no matter what I’m going through,” said Perry. “It is something that is always with me; my mom always says how I seem to be constantly humming or singing a little tune, because quite frankly, I just enjoy it so much that I never want to stop. It takes my mind off of things I don’t necessarily want to think about at the moment and whisks me away to a more comfortable place. I also enjoy those times that I can touch people and move them in certain ways.” She has moved innumerable listeners to hear and see the innate beauty not only in music, but in Christ.

Perry has left her mark on her school community and will continue to do so in her last year as a student before she goes into the world, flourishing and endlessly pursuing the fullness of her art.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019