Madeleine Choir School celebrates 25th anniversary

Dec 19, 2021, 10:15 PM | Updated: Dec 21, 2021, 3:22 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — The young choristers of the Madeleine Choir School are busy preparing to sing for many services this Christmas season, and they are also celebrating an important anniversary year.

The voices of these children, instantly ethereal, seem to both reach beyond the vaulted ceiling of The Cathedral of the Madeleine in downtown Salt Lake City and, at the same time, reach into our hearts.

In order to create a glorious sound, the choristers start in a classroom. They are fifth through eighth-graders.

There are no auditions because music is part of the curriculum, starting in the second grade. They study music theory in the fourth grade, and then, many step into a choir, singing for Mass daily.

Melanie Malinka has been the music director for two decades.

“Just to really be immersed in that culture, I think really creates that passion, or inflames that passion in them for music-making,” she said.

The choir rehearses every school day at 11 a.m. in the Main Building of the campus at 205 1st Avenue.

When the windows are open, their voices carry, and passersby can wonder if angels are singing.

Jude Payne is a seventh-grader.

“I find myself very lucky that I get to go to this wonderful school and also be in a choir. Of course, there’s the tours and the donuts and all the rewards. But it’s also just fun to put yourself out there and let your voice be heard,” she said.

And they have let their voices be heard, performing in beautiful cathedrals throughout Europe. Past tours have included performances in London, Paris, Madrid, Rome, Vienna, Prague, and Berlin — including Westminster Cathedral, Notre Dame de Paris, and St. Peter’s Basilica.

It began 25 years ago, in 1996, with the vision of Gregory Glenn, the founder.

“I’ve always been fascinated with the incredible beauty of the European boy choir and girl choirs, and I wanted to create something like that here at the Cathedral of the Madeleine,” Glenn said.

The results of their intense study in the classroom and extra rehearsals come to fruition through the gratitude of people of many faiths. Gregory Glenn said they receive letters constantly.

“Someone whose mother is ill in LDS Hospital, who stops down for the 5:15 pm Mass and hears the children and writes to us and says what an incredible comfort and consolation that was,” he described.

And these students, still singing with masks, met the challenges of COVID-19 restrictions with Zoom rehearsals when their school was in session online.

Melanie Malinka is so grateful that they are singing together again.

“Twenty-five years, it’s almost like a celebration of coming out of this pandemic and … just seeing how our work is helping these kids again to rise,” Malinka said.

These choristers are young, but they do understand the importance of their music to the community, particularly at this time of the year.

“I really love to sing, and knowing one of my favorite things to do makes the community happy, makes me really happy, too,” said seventh-grader Ronak Tathireddy.

“It’s very beautiful to me and very much of an honor. It’s great to know that they come to see us and try and get in the spirit,” added eighth-grader Georgia Ohman.

As they celebrate both an anniversary and this special season, the young singers hope all who hear them will accept their gift.

Gregory Glenn’s hope is that these children will become responsible citizens who seek to build a civilization of justice, mercy and love.

“That’s the important thing, that they’re creating a better world,” he said.

The choristers of the Madeleine Choir School will sing for services at the Cathedral of the Madeleine on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and again on Dec. 26.

Here is a link to the Cathedral’s calendar.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Matt Rascon, KSL TV

Pleasant Grove tattoo artist used work to help others before her murder

A mother who police say was shot and killed by her son in Pleasant Grove Thursday night, used her artwork as a tattoo artist to help others heal from past trauma.
23 hours ago
USA Climbing competition in SLC on May 21st, 2022...
Alex Cabrero, KSL TV

World’s best climbers in SLC for competition

It's the perfect time for Salt Lake to be at the forefront of the sport’s popularity.
23 hours ago
(Davis County Sheriff's Office)...
Merri Moeller, KSL TV

Murder suspect wished he’d used sharper knife in stabbings, court docs say

A man in custody after stabbing two women including a woman he’d met on Tinder made some chilling statements about the attacks to police, court documents show.
23 hours ago
The scene of the South Jordan paraglider accident....
Michael Houck, KSL TV

Man flown to hospital in South Jordan skydiving accident

One man is in critical condition due to a skydiving accident on Saturday afternoon according to officials.
23 hours ago
SLCPD confiscated an air soft gun after reports of the suspect pointing a rifle at people. (Photo: ...
Michael Houck, KSK TV

Salt Lake City officers respond to person pointing rifle at people

Salt Lake City police responded to multiple calls of a person pointing a rifle at people Friday night, only to find it was an airsoft gun.
23 hours ago
Two men dead, three hospitalized after a North Ogden pursuit (Credit - North Ogden Police)...
Michael Houck, KSL TV

Two dead, three hospitalized after a North Ogden pursuit

Two men are dead after fleeing from a traffic stop and crashing into a tree in North Ogden Saturday morning, according to North Ogden police.
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Earth day 2022...

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Make Money Online Easily...

4 Ways that You Can Make Money Online Easily in Just a Few Clicks

Here are 4 ways that you can make money online easily in no time at all! Some are as simple as just a few clicks away.
tips to winterize your home...
Bonneville Digital SLC

Tips to Winterize Your Home | The Top 5 Ways You Can Prepare for the Cold Utah Winter Ahead

Before the snow hits, here are the top 5 tips to winterize your home to prepare for the cold Utah winter this year.
Madeleine Choir School celebrates 25th anniversary