Music has been a part of Madeline Nokland’s life for as long as she can remember.
Music has also taken Madeline across New York State and even across the Atlantic Ocean. Now a junior at Warwick Valley High School, she has already performed at Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and at St. John’s Smith Square in London, England.
‘Determination and perseverance’
At WVHS, Madeline sings with the Meistersingers and plays viola in the Chamber Orchestra. She is also a co-leader of the Wire Choir, where she teaches younger students how to play the viola.
Outside of school, she takes voice, piano and viola lessons and is a member of the Jubilate Youth Choir, the group she performed with in London.
“Madeline is such a hard worker and has the most determination and perseverance I have ever witnessed in a person her age,” said WVHS music teacher Elissa Maynard “She is not only talented on the viola but sings like an angel. Madeline is an asset to Chamber Orchestra and is truly a wonderful person to have in class.”
Daughter, like mother
Madeline’s plan is to double major in music education for both voice and viola with the goal of becoming a music teacher.
“My mom was actually a music education major, so I’m following in her footsteps,” said Madeline, who started taking piano lessons in second grade. “She introduced me to music. She was always playing music in the house. Music was just in my life from the start.”
With the Meistersingers, Madeline has been able to perform a few times this year. She and the group sang Christmas carols outside the Schervier Pavilion.
You can also hear Madeline sing a solo of “Angels We Have Heard on High” on the YouTube video of the Warwick Community Christmas Eve Carol Sing.
Perfect pitch with great sense of humor
“Madeline is an incredibly gifted vocalist,” said WVHS music teacher Noreen Hanson. “She has perfect pitch and is often used to give pitches to the Meistersingers when we are caroling outside. She sings with a beautiful tone and wonderful musicality, and she has a great sense of humor!”
Madeline started playing the viola in fourth grade. She had a choice between the viola and the cello, but said that when she held the viola, it just felt right. “It was love at first sight, or first sound I should say,” Madeline joked.
In addition to playing and singing in school and taking private lessons, for the past three summers Madeline has been attending the Ithaca College Summer Music Academy, taking courses from Ithaca College faculty and top music educators from across the country.
To teach kids to follow their passions
Madeline wants to become a music educator herself so she can teach and inspire children.
“I want to help kids become the individuals I know that they can be,” Madeline said. “And hopefully I’ll inspire some of them and teach them to follow their passions (even if they lie outside of music) and reach for their goals.”