The Start of a Singing SensationWednesday, May 30, 2012 By Meghan Newkirk
Every once in a while we stumble upon one of those people who have an incredible talent. Senior Matt McDonald is one of those special people. McDonald is one of the top singers in Jackson High’s Euphony choir and is an active member of the drama program. “I started singing when I was three years old. I’ve been singing ever since I could talk, really. I just wanted to sing,” McDonald said. As student director here at Jackson High and a tenor in the Michigan Youth Arts Festival (MYAF), McDonald has made a big impact on the people he works with in class and in the plays and musicals he’s in. “He’s a hard worker, smart, he knows what he’s doing, and he’s a good singer,” junior Mikey Hutchens said. “When he conducts he uses stuff from what he’s learned and the conductor last year didn’t do that. I think it works better with life experiences.” McDonald doesn’t only flourish in the choral program, but is a star on stage in the school’s plays and musicals. He has performed in “Titanic”, “Winter Shorts”, “The Dastardly Doctor Devereaux”, “Auschwitz Lullaby”, “The Course Acting Show”, and “The Fantasticks”. Even if McDonald doesn’t have a lead role, he gives his all in what he does while still having fun. “He’s really goofy and silly and fun to work with,” sophomore Katana Grennay said. “He’s easy to work with. He’s not high maintenance or a drama queen.” McDonald wasn’t always the flourishing student he is today. In middle school, he would rarely speak to others and was incredibly shy. Since going to Jackson High, McDonald has learned to get over his shy ways and is now out and about in the student body. “I talk a lot more now. My body language is a lot more open, I actually volunteer to talk in class, and I have friends now,” McDonald said. “I wouldn’t do anything social basically, but now I’m in all the shows.” The people that work with McDonald can easily enjoy the time they spend with him and feed off of his bubbly personality and his ability to make whatever he’s doing fun for everyone involved. “I love how he’s not really serious a lot. He is when he has to be, but that’s not really ever,” Grennay said. The students are not the only ones who have had an effect on McDonald. Teachers have also played a big role in the way he has opened himself up and allowed himself to be more outgoing. “[My favorite teacher] would either be Mrs. McKay or Ms. Hamilton. They’ve both been really helpful and encouraging. They’ve both just been there. They’re both fun people and are good at what they do,” McDonald said. As McDonald finishes his last days at Jackson High, he’s going to take what he has learned from the years and take it with him as he goes on to college. “[I learned] that no matter what people say about you, it doesn’t change who you are. Just because you say I’m that person doesn’t mean I am,” McDonald said. After high school McDonald plans on majoring in vocal performance and is excited to be an independent in college.