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Artist Spotlight-Maddie Gallichio

By: Paige Terpstra

So far this year, the artist spotlight has only covered visual artists. While drawings and paintings are a huge and important part of the art world, there are lots of other mediums that are just as meaningful- one of them being music. Music possesses the incredible power to make or break moments, warm our hearts, and bring us to tears. In this issue, we would like to feature our first musical spotlight! Maddie Gallichio is a Senior at Wheaton North, and a musician of extreme talent, taking part in Wind Ensemble, Jazz, Pit, Flight Band, and Marching Band, and she also creates her very own original works. Her creation is entitled “As The Earth Turns Beneath Our Feet”. She explains:

“[In] February of 2020 the Jazz Ensemble went to a jazz showcase at Illinois Wesleyan. Outside the auditorium, however, there was an open hallway with professors’ offices. I don’t know what professor’s office it was in front of but there was this fairly large box filled to the brim labeled “Free staff paper”. I was immediately drawn to it and quickly grabbed the whole box before leaving for the bus. I sifted through the sheets of paper and I realized not all of them were entirely blank. Some of them had just a few notes scribbled down. I don’t know where the notes came from or what they were written for but I found a short passage of 14 notes that I played to myself when I got home and fell in love with. I decided to use them as the main theme to what was originally a very short theme and variation piece, just as an exercise for myself. As I continued to add to the piece layering the harmonies and adding more colored instruments I knew that I didn’t want to stop the project. What was a silly afterthought evolved into a 7 movement suite for band, each movement containing a different element or line from the lost papers. For some reason, when I was writing the first two movements, I really couldn’t get the images of Dawn and Morning respectively out of my head, so I wanted to continue writing to not only reflect the scrapped music but the different times of the day. Movement 1 is titled “Resurgence” and features a choral I wrote along the original 14 note scrap line. Movement 2 is “A Free Day” to represent morning and features the F pentatonic scale that was written out on a different scrap piece. Movement 3 is “Casting No Shadows” and represents noon. It’s a choral song based on Westminster Chimes and I wrote it because one of the papers had a bunch of rhythms written in 5/4 time. In the piece, you can hear the horns, timpani, and tubular bells chime exactly 12 times and if played at the proper tempo is exactly a minute in length. Movement 4 is “At A Crossroad” and is the longest and most diverse piece to represent afternoon. The chord progression was what was written out on a scrap piece of paper. Movement 5 is “Repose” and it represents dusk. It directly mirrors “Resurgence”. It’s written in the opposite key on the circle of 5ths and shares a theme. Movement 6 is “Lullaby for a Dreamer” and represents night. I made a few alterations but the melody and counter-melody were both mainly written o

n scrap pieces of paper. And movement 7 is “Silver Silhouettes” which represents midnight and directly parallels “Casting No Shadows” just in a more soft tone to close the day off.”

As I listen to Maddie’s work, I am filled with awe. Her care and intention for this piece makes it stand out, and while she is not painting with a brush, she so skillfully works the instruments together so that they create certain imagery, a clear and thoughtful scene. Next year, Maddie will be attending Berklee College of Music for Composition/film score, and I am thrilled to see what other brilliant creations she will come up with as she grows there.

Click the link below to her wonderful composition:

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