Enumclaw High School senior Madison Eaton competed in the state choir competition this year knowing she already made it farther than she ever had before.
She was not expecting to be named the state’s top alto singer during the April 30 competition, and she was certainly unaware at the time that she became the first Hornet to receive a state title in any choir category.
“It was an incredible, incredible moment. “To be the best individual in something like singing is pretty impressive,” said choir director Paul Scott, noting that Eaton competed against the state’s 21 best alto singers from other regions.
Eaton was one of the top singers during the state regional competitions last year and was a first alternate alto.
This year, Eaton performed “Non più di fiori,” an opera piece by Mozart and “Der Schmuetterling” by Franz Schubert with the help from her personal trainer Andy Newell, a former Hornet who came in second when he performed at the state choir competition.
“Opera is the AP Calculus of choir – it’s the exceptional, top kind of difficulty for vocalists,” Scott said. “If you’re not ready for it vocally. if you’re not ready for AP calculus and only at an algebra level, you don’t jump in AP calculus. Your voice has to be ready, your sense of musicality has to be ready.”
Eaton said she loves singing opera because it allows her to be free with her music.
“Other singing, there’s a lot of things you need to control,” she said. “In opera, you just get to sing.”
Eaton credited her parents for her success; her dad because he taught her how to practice and stick to it, and her mom for her musical inclination.
Although the spotlight shines on Eaton, other Hornet choir members also saw success at the state competition.
The men’s choir, “Coro di uomo” (Choir of men), consisting of Nick Barnet, Tristan Dorman, Jayson Stager, Brendon Mergens, Jared Schmidt, Ryan Weeks, Trevor Weeks, Matt Akre, Takoda Lobdell, Bryce Johnson, Bo Mongrain, Alexander Garate, Brandon Blake, Ben Halbert, Icarus DeOsu and J’cub Doerflinger received an “excellent” rating for their performances at state.
The school’s chamber choir, made up of Rachael Heistuman, Kysa Bursch, Brittney Sullivan, Kaleb Cenci, Jayson Stager, Grace Nguyen, Morgan Blake, Savannah McNabb, Maddison Gates, Joshua Lawrence, E.J. Knotts, Eaton, Mongrain, Barnet, Dorman and Garate received superior scores.