Spunk & swing
By Eleanor Dudley
Pictures by Gretta Wiersma
Seattle Academy’s Jazz II choir walked off the Pacific Vocal Jazz festival stage, proud and elated, heading toward their professional critique. They were met with a smackdown. All their hard work, every detail of their performance was torn apart and advised to do the exact opposite.
They walked away dispirited. Their director told them not to listen, reminding them that they had proven themselves in front of the entire Pacific Northwest vocal community. But Madolyn Laurine went home believing they didn’t have a chance at a callback. Late that night she got a phone call from her director.
“We did it, we got the callback,” he said.
And then she knew the disparaging remarks of the critic weren’t defining. She knew not only had they proven themselves to the community, they had proven they were passionate and that’s what matters most.
Her tiedye shirt and bright blue-turquoise colored hair can be seen from miles away. She walks with an air of self-confidence seen rarely among teenagers. Laurine currently attends Seattle Academy, where she’s a part of the vocal jazz program and editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, The Cardinal.
She plans to apply early decision to Ithaca College’s Park School of Communication to study broadcast journalism. Studying journalism is a safety move, a practical career choice while her true passion is singing.
“When I was 6 I did a school talent show and I remember one of my teachers told me I was wise beyond my years,” Laurine said.
At 6 years old she didn’t know much about wisdom, but she did know about music. She knew that music has always been a natural part of who she is. She understands now that her wisdom comes through in her music.
“I have a feeling I have always been secretly telling people things about myself through my musical career,” she said.
Through adding emotion and emphasis in her performances Madolyn shares her experiences and her story with the world, always striving to create a deep connection between the audience and performer.
“Music is special for me because it is a shared thing between myself and the audience,” she said.“It’s all about the way that you try and make that connection with other people and that’s what tells your story.”
Heading into her future, Laurine never doubts the importance of staying true to her passion.
“I know that if I stop following music I won’t be the person that I truly am,” she said.
For now her plan is to think in the moment, enjoy the best parts of senior year and remember to never stop singing, no matter where she is or what she is doing or who is listening.
“I have to enjoy the things that are going to make me the person that I am, not just try and get to being that final end product.”