Madison VanDenburg to make Holiday Parade debut – The Daily Gazette


The Schenectady Holiday Parade is a long-standing family tradition for musician Madison VanDenburg.

As a child, the Cohoes native and “American Idol” Season 17 finalist competed in the parade with a contingent from the Capital District Soap Box Derby, occasionally singing Christmas carols on the group’s float.

On Saturday, she will debut “The Light of Christmas,” a song written by multi-platinum songwriters Kenny Lamb and Anthony Little, at the Schenectady Tree Lighting and Holiday Parade.

“The circle is complete,” VanDenburg said in a recent interview with The Gazette.

She recorded the heartwarming song in Nashville with Lamb.

“When I heard Madison sing on ‘Idol,’ it wasn’t her range or her power that caught my attention, it was the way she emotionally connected to the songs and the lyrics – that intangible thing that we are looking for and can’t explain, but you know it when you hear it, ”Lamb said in a statement.

While VanDenburg had initially gone to Nashville to record other songs, as soon as Lamb sent her a demo of “The Light of Christmas,” she immediately logged on.

“For me, ‘The Light of Christmas’ is about the feeling of unity around the holidays and the joy that Christmas brings. Around Christmas, the world seems so much lighter and happier, especially when you are with your loved ones. There is no other feeling like Christmas, ”VanDenburg said.

The song precedes several others she has worked on over the past year. At the start of the pandemic, VanDenburg had a strong show schedule, but had to cancel them and focus on songwriting.

“As difficult as it was in many aspects… there were some things that were pretty good to be able to be home and really keep my head down and work, because I really felt like I was more connected. with the composing side of music, ”VanDenburg said.

“It gave me the time to really look inside and understand who I was as an artist.”

During her career, VanDenburg has performed songs of various genres, from pop to singer / songwriter to country.

“I think because I love all music and I love all kinds of genres, for years it was so hard to perfect, but I’m really comfortable presenting myself more as a pop artist. she said, adding that the music she writes and enjoys the most is her vocals and strong lyrics, such as the work of pop artists Halsey and Demi Lovato.

“This is the direction I’m heading and I really like it. I’m very excited to show this new side of me, ”said VanDenburg.

In the coming weeks, she will also have a performance in Chicago for the city’s Thanksgiving Parade. But the launch of “The Light of Christmas” in the capital region was important for VanDenburg.

“The Capital Region has always been so patient with me and supports and encourages me. It’s something I’m so grateful for, and that’s why I’m so excited to debut the song at the parade. They can see it live before anyone else, ”said VanDenburg.

Kick-off of the season

With its return in 2021, the 52nd Schenectady Holiday Parade will celebrate superheroes on and off the big screen.

“After a year off, we wanted to honor the hard work of all the doctors, nurses and frontline workers since the start of 2020, but we also look forward to getting together this holiday season,” said Kaci Palleschi, event coordinator for the parade’s main sponsor, the Daily Gazette. “We will honor the ‘super’ of all of our heroes, including childhood comic book characters and our everyday heroes.

Starting Saturday at 5 pm, the parade is expected to draw more than 15,000 people to downtown Schenectady.

It will include 18 tanks, some with designs inspired by superheroes. CREATE Community Studios’ tank will feature 20 superheroes with unique imaginations, created primarily by young artists and ranging from alien creatures to anime-style humans.

Mountain Ridge Adventures will have a Spider-Man themed chariot, and while they may not be categorized as superheroes, the Princesses of Hill City Ice Queen will be present, making their way along the route of the parade in a horse-drawn carriage.

“We have some impressive tanks to look forward to this year. Several entries will honor our frontline workers as superheroes, ”said Palleschi.

One of those frontline workers, Rodelin “Rodel” Sumiran, a full-time nurse in the intensive care unit at Ellis Hospital, will serve as the parade’s grand marshal. He was voted Nurse of the Year 2021 by Daily Gazette readers and is an assistant instructor for the Ellis Medicine-Belanger School of Nursing. At a press conference earlier this season, Sumiran said the holiday parade has become an annual tradition since his family migrated from the Philippines to Schenectady seven years ago.

“Each year we looked forward to it,” he said. “It was something that was initially new, but as we have stayed here and it has become our home, we are looking forward to it. It’s actually the best way to start the vacation.

The parade will begin at SUNY Schenectady County Community College, move up State Street and end at Lafayette Street. Attendees may notice additional holiday decor along the way, as the city added more wreaths and lighted trees to State Street and encouraged businesses to decorate their storefronts with holiday decorations.

The added decor is part of a competition known as “Illuminocity,” in which businesses partner with nonprofits. Companies will compete for first places in the following categories: creative design; pride of Schenectady; technical challenge; the most lively; and the Griswolds. The Daily Gazette will also host online voting for a People’s Choice category between November 19 and January 3.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners, with the public’s choice having only one winner. The prizes will then be given to the non-profit association associated with each company.

For more information, visit

More from The Daily Gazette:

Categories: Entertainment, Life and Arts


Comments are closed.