by Cameron Calvillo
As Christmas gets closer, the Reedley High Madrigals are hard at work preparing to spread Christmas cheer. This holiday season they are set to perform at Hillcrest, go caroling, and put on their annual Christmas concert at the PAT on the Reedley High Schools campus. The group is led by Randy Lepp, a talented musician himself. He can always be seen early morning on campus running around with a determined look on his face. He has been leading this elite group of singers for years and is excited about the wonderful students he is leading this year. When asked about them he said, “I think we have a really great Madrigal group this year; not only are they talented performers, they are a great group of kids. They are well-rounded students who succeed academically and participate in sports and theater.”
One of these well-rounded students is senior first soprano Alexis Macedo. She has had a history in theatre and singing, as she was recently the star in Reedley High’s production of “Beauty and the Beast” and the Opera House’s production of the “Drowsy Chaperone.” She takes the lead in choreographing the dancing for the Madrigals Christmas concert at Reedley High, a tough job to take on for someone already so busy. The dancing adds an awesome visual for the audience and is tons of fun for the students as expressed by junior alto Paige Linns. When asked what was her favorite of the three events she responded, “I like the concert the best because I can dance!” Alexis had a similar response when asked the same question. “For me it’s a tie between the concert and singing at Hillcrest. I love choreographing the Christmas dances, however, the children at Hillcrest always get the brightest smiles on their faces when we sing their favorite Christmas songs.” Paige and Alexis are just two of many athletes and college-bound students that make up the Madrigals.
The amount of work put into the Madrigals is astounding. They memorize many songs, hitting every note perfectly, they perfect the dancing, and they put in hours of their own time to make sure the people get the best possible performance. With so much work, on top of their already busy and stressful lives, I had to ask if it’s all worth it for the audience’s reaction. Alexis responded, “It is definitely a lot of hard work to have all of the songs prepared. In Madrigals, we know that our Christmas season starts in October, but the people that ask us to perform for them and tell us that we’ve done wonderful jobs makes it all worth it, and you forget about all of the hard work you’ve put into remembering your harmonies.” It’s the people’s joy the group works so hard for. Words of kindness and support along with a bright smile is the biggest reward they can hope for. Junior second soprano Itzy Palomera said, “It makes me happy that all our hard work was actually worth something, and the fact that people love it just shows me how much hard work can entertain others.” The Reedley High Madrigals thrive on the enjoyment of their audience. This is a huge factor in the group’s success.
All the hard work is made much easier by the fact that the Madrigals are a tight knit group of friends that love to have fun with each other. The students are close friends outside of the Madrigals and have a close bond that creates a fun and thriving environment for the students to work in. Itzy Palomera highlighted this when I asked her what was the best part about singing during the holidays, “The best part about singing during the holidays is that we do so much with each other; we create a bond that brings us all so much closer. Even students who are new to the Madrigals are quickly accepted and made to feel like a close friend.” The group also wanted to express that the most fun part of the holidays is dressing up in cozy warm clothes and a Santa hat and sipping on their hot chocolate. It is the strong bond and all the fun the group of friends has that makes the Madrigals such a hard-working and successful group, unlike any other performing group at Reedley High School.
People of all ages always get a warm feeling and a thrill when they watch and listen to the Madrigals perform, whether it’s Christmas tree shopping with the family, enjoying a cozy night at home, or coming to watch their performance. It is a wonderful way to put everyone in the holiday spirit. The holiday season in Reedley would not be the same without the Reedley High School Madrigals. If you haven’t experienced the wonderful sensation of listening to the Madrigals perform, it is a must-do with your family, and Mr. Lepp invites you! “If anyone is interested in seeing the Reedley High School Madrigals perform this Christmas season, we will be at Hillcrest Christmas Tree Farms every Friday and Saturday in December and invite everyone to see all of our choirs in our Christmas concert at 7 p.m. on December 7 in the PAT on Reedley High School’s campus.”