A Cappella Ensemble “Dragon Scales” Brings New Dimension to Music Department
With a passion for singing, Howard Community College (HCC) student Nicole Madaffari admits she was envious of her two friends who were having the time of their lives performing in an a cappella group at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
When she learned no such group existed at HCC, Madaffari began exploring how she could create one herself.
“My friend Emily told me she also wanted to be in an a cappella group, which made me start thinking there had to be other students that wished there was one too,” she said.
With guidance from HCC’s Student Government Association, Madaffari connected with Janelle Broderick, director of the Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center, who agreed to serve as an advisor.
“When I first met with Nicole, I was immediately impressed,” Broderick explained. “She had a clear vision for the future, and it was obvious she had done her research and knew what was needed for the group to succeed.”
Broderick approached Dr. Hsien-Ann Meng, music chair, about taking the newly formed Dragon Scales, named in honor of the HCC mascot, under the umbrella of HCC’s music department.
“I was impressed with their love for singing, their vision for the group, and their organizational mindset,” Meng said. “And I really liked the idea of having a student-led vocal ensemble. It brings another dimension and inclusive opportunity to the music department and to the college’s music offerings.”
Since then, Dragon Scales has performed during the Howard County Arts Council’s annual Celebration of Arts, and Madaffari plans on entering the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella.
“Dragon Scales is looking forward to competing along other colleges, and I hope to leave HCC’s name in the community,” she said. “My hope is that the group will continue even after I graduate or transfer and that it will be one of Maryland’s best a cappella groups.”