Choir director Monica Maddern retires

June 7, 2016


Monica Maddern is an essential part at Northgate. She is responsible for leading the beautiful voices that this school has and sharing her musical wisdom to all. She teaches all of Northgate’s choir classes. Unfortunately, now that Maddern is retiring, it will be a hard task to replace her, but her legacy will live on.


Q: When did you start teaching at Northgate?

A: 1996


Q: How many years overall have you been a teacher?

A: 24 years


Q: What did you do prior to being a teacher?

A: I was a musician and also worked for AT&T.


Q: What do you enjoy most about teaching?

A: The students.  They bring joy and good spirits and an incredible amount of talent.  If a teacher isn’t in this job for the students, they really need to find something else to do.


Q: What have you liked about Northgate?

A: Great faculty, incredible theatre, and the freedom to develop new choirs.  I started three of them during my tenure here: Bella Voce, Il Coro and Cantiamo.  I started with 37 students.  I now have 120.


Q: Memory or experience?

A: Closing night of Musical America always brings tears to my eyes.  I see their happiness and joy.  The Disneyland tour with the choirs is challenging and demanding, but they always get so much out of the experience! I will never forget my shy students who find their voice and their safe place in the choir room. And when I was watching the remodel of the Little Theatre in 2006,  I felt like a kid in a candy store!


Q: What are you going to miss about teaching?

A: Watching the light bulbs go off when we’re learning music.


Q: What are you looking forward to in retirement?

A: Spending time with my three grandsons, traveling, more performance opportunities and throwing away my alarm clock!


Q: Goal for the school?

A: That they carry on with the high standards and expect more from themselves than what is easy.  That Performing Arts continue to be the force it has become in this school. That we continue to celebrate the multi-faceted student population at our school.  There is a place for everyone.  It’s not just about the grades.


Q: Any parting words to the students at Northgate?

A: I wish them well and hope they embrace the new teacher with open arms.  I want to sit in the audience and listen to how they grow.  I want to be proud of them.  Remember your music and what it meant to you.  Never let it go.

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