Madison Lijoi is a versatile musician.
At the Warwick Valley Middle School Winter Concert on Monday, Madison first sang with the seventh grade chorus, then she played viola with the seventh grade orchestra.
Finally, as kind of an encore, she played her bright yellow electric guitar for a song with the eighth grade chorus.
And then, ‘A Mad Russian’s Christmas’
Chorus director Christy Brown asked Madison about playing “A Mad Russian’s Christmas” in October. The song, made popular by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, is a difficult one to play on the electric guitar.
“Madison took on the challenge of that electric guitar part and worked so hard to achieve a high standard,” Brown said. “I asked Madison to play on this song because I’ve watched her perform many times and knew she would rise to the challenge.
“She absolutely nailed the performance at our concert,” the chorus director added. “I was so proud of her and the eighth grade orchestra for taking on such a challenging piece as well as playing it so well.”
‘Able to figure out all of the parts’
Madison started taking acoustic guitar lessons when she was just 5 years old. She added the electric guitar about two years later. Madison still plays acoustic guitar but now plays more electric. She’s been playing and singing in the band “Parental Lock” for more than three years.
“Learning ‘A Mad Russian’s Christmas’ was a challenge but I was up to it because I had enough time,” Madison said. “I listened to the song a lot and was able to figure out all of the parts. I’m really glad that I did it. It’s something I really enjoyed, and I hope to do it again.”
Madison’s current guitar teacher is Matt Barile, owner and music director of The Rock Underground in Greenwood Lake. He said there are very few individuals who are as passionate about performing as Madison.
“Madison embodies music and lets it pour out of her soul as much as you can imagine a kid around her age can,” Barile said. “She embraces and looks forward to performing. Madison is always wanting to put herself out there.”
Guitars, ukuleles and fiddles
Madison’s guitar experience helped when she started playing the viola in third grade. Her fingers were already used to moving around the fretboard, and overall her hands were strong from playing the guitar.
“I definitely plan to continue in music,” said Madison, who is also a member of the Guitar Club and the Ukulele Club and does Fiddle Frenzy in the summer. “I teach guitar lessons and I’m in a band. Music is a big part of my life.”
Madison excels academically, too, making the Honor Roll for the first marking period. She is also again competing on one of WVSD’s Odyssey of the Mind teams.