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Student sings in inauguration choir President Clinton+s former church+s choir, orchestra perform in celebration

Jan. 30, 1997

Student sings in inauguration choir

President Clinton's former church's choir, orchestra perform in celebration

Courtesy photo

Melodie Madden (right), a Little Rock, Ark., sophomore, stands with her brother Philip, a high school freshman in Little Rock, while in Washington, D.C., for President Clinton's inauguration. Melodie is a part of Clinton's home church's choir.

By Kelly Maher

Lariat Reporter

A lone Baylor student, one of a 135 member sanctuary choir, combined with a 40 piece orchestra to help start President Clinton's inauguration on a good note. Melodie Madden, a Little Rock, Ark., sophomore and a member of the Immanuel Baptist sanctuary choir in Little Rock, was chosen to help perform the 'Battle Hymn of the Republic' immediately following the swearing in of the president.

Cliaton's hometown church is Immanuel Baptist where he has been a member of the choir since 1980. According to Rev. Lynn Madden, music director of Immanuel Baptist Church and father of Melodie Madden, Clinton sang tenor and wore robe No. 192.

Because of Clinton's close ties to the church, the Immanuel Baptist sanctuary choir and orchestra were chosen to perform at his inauguration for the second time. This year the choir was issued a special invitation to perform from Sen. John Warner, inaugural chairman. The choir was selected at the request of the President himself.

The event was a cherished opportunity for Melodie Madden. She has been singing almost all her life, first performing in front of her church at age 3. She is a member of Baylor Showtime and Baylor 21 and also has performed in After Dark for two years.

'It was an awesome opportunity to witness to all those thousands of people over network television,' Melodie Madden said. 'It was a chance for people to hear the word of the Lord, because often people do not always get a chance to hear it.'

Lynn Madden described the opportunity as 'the most humbling experience of my life because I was representing Jesus Christ and 36,000 Southern Baptist churches, and because I was representing Immanuel Baptist Church and the whole state of Arkansas.'

In addition to performing, the Maddens were given the VIP tour of the White House where they were allowed to see various rooms in the White House, not shown to other tours. They also had the opportunity to speak with Clinton himself.

According to Melodie, Clinton came up to her and her father in the rotunda of the capitol to thank them for coming. Clinton said he would never forget his first church.

While the Maddens attended the inauguration they came into contact with many famous faces. According to Melodie, her father accidentlaly dropped his glove near where Antonio Banderas was standing. Banderas picked up the glove and Lynn Madden was given the golden opportunity to speak with Banderas. In addition to Banderas, the Maddens saw Barbara Streisand and John F. Kennedy, Jr.

'It was neat to see all the famous people,' Madden said.

Overall, the Maddens agreed that the inauguration was an incredible experience.

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