UL Lafayette student a finalist to sing with American Pops Orchestra

Madison Russell

Madison Russell

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — A UL Lafayette student will be turning 21 onstage with the American Pops Orchestra after singing her way into the finals of virtual competition.

Madison Russell is a junior at UL, a Zachary native, and one of 10 finalists chosen to sing with the venerable orchestra as part of “NextGen: The Voice of Tomorrow” competition. Russell competed against 30 semifinalists on Nov. 21, singing a portion of “My White Knight” from the Broadway musical “The Music Man.”

On Saturday, Russell competed against students from the Berklee College of Music, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory of Music and other top schools. “I feel extremely flattered because every performer in the semifinals was definitely meant to be there,” she said.

“I think one thing that pushed me forward is I sounded different than other competitors. As I watched, I thought, ‘If I do make it to finals, it could be because I bring a different sound to the table.’ My voice has a classical color given my opera background,” Russell explained.

For her upcoming performance with the American Pops Orchestra, she’s looking forward to singing “The White Knight” in its entirety. “I didn’t even have a chance to sing my favorite part the first time,” she said with a laugh.

Russell is hopeful to be chosen the “NextGen: The Voices of Tomorrow” winner or the female runner-up. A male runner-up will also be selected. The trio will earn scholarships, a paid performance with American Pops Orchestra and chances to boost their singing careers.

Learn more about Russell and the American Pops Orchestra’s “NextGen: The Voices of Tomorrow” competition.

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