At just 19, Jennifer Maloney made her first professional appearance as a singer at what is now known as Arrowwood Resort.
An Alexandria graduate and now a long-time resident, Maloney is presenting a special, and unique, concert at her church, First Congregational UCC.
“The concert is an all-new concept,” said Maloney. “It’s not just me up there singing. There are going to be about 80 different slides and videos incorporated into the show, shown simultaneously as I sing on a large screen in front of the church sanctuary.”
The concert will showcase songs of the 1930s and ‘40s, and vintage videos showing what it was like to live during the era of the Great Depression and World War II.
“This is an all-new, unique, never before seen approach to showcasing what it was like during this time,” said Maloney. “Being able to give to my church, where I was baptized, confirmed and married, is a win-win for both the church and me.”
The concert, dubbed “I’ve Heard That Song Before,” will take place Friday, Sept 20 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 22 at 3 p.m. at First Congregational, 221 7th Ave. W. in Alexandria. Maloney is donating her time and talent with 100 percent of the proceeds going right back to the church.
For ticket information, call 320-763-3341.
How it came to be
Maloney has been a long-time fan of the old musical standards and began wondering what kind of venue could be created to incorporate that kind of music.
She approached her dad, Jon Haaven, for any ideas he may have. Unbeknownst to her, he had already begun writing what turned out to be what she called a “fabulous program.”
The songs she will be singing will be backed up by full orchestra accompaniment recordings.
“I am not quite ready to play the piano to my full potential yet, so I won’t be tickling the ivories at this time,” she said.
Maloney shared that a year ago last April, she tripped on a sidewalk, suffering a concussion, breaking one wrist and severely spraining the other. The timing was unfortunate as it was just four days before the opening of “Nunsense” at the Andria Theatre and Maloney was one of the cast members.
“To this day, I don’t know what hurt me most, my injuries or having to miss doing the play,” she said.
After several surgeries and lots of physical and occupational therapy, she is now nearly fully recovered. And although it was a long process, Maloney said it was during this time when she decided there must be a way for her to get back into the music business full time.
A little background
Over the years, Maloney has worked consistently as a lounge singer and pianist in Minneapolis, Phoenix and even Canada. She was in an Alexandria band, Skyline, for a few years before landing solo jobs in hotels in several parts of Arizona.
She was a member of the America’s Youth in Concert the summer after her senior year and has played concerts at Carnegie Hall and in five European countries.
“I’ve also had the privilege of singing the national anthem solo at both the Minnesota Twins and Chicago Cubs baseball games,” said Maloney.
Maloney did take a hiatus from the entertainment circuit to raise her two children, Steven and Lexi, and that is when she moved back to the Alexandria area.
“It was a move we didn’t regret, however the opportunities to continue a music career weren’t as available in the comparatively small-town environment,” she said.
While working at the Aagard Group, music was a part-time job for her, mainly working weddings, funerals and special occasions. She was involved in the Andria Theatre, taking on leading roles in “Oklahoma,” “Guys and Dolls,” “Hello, Dolly!,” “State Fair,” “Nunsense,” “Nunsense II,” and “Annie Get Your Gun.”
She is looking forward to bringing her music to the forefront again and can envision bringing this new program to other venues around the state.
“It’s my hope that this will also give the younger generation a chance to hear what was so musically exciting all those many years ago,” said Maloney.