BYU junior records Christmas song to help sex abuse victims

Maddison Jewkes smiles as she sings “Quiet Christmas Night” at the recording studio. She feels this is the best song she has ever recorded. (Maddison Jewkes)

BYU psychology junior Maddison Jewkes arranged and recorded “Quiet Christmas Night” with recording studio The Last Kakachee in California. All of the money the studio makes on the song will go to End Sex Abuse, a charity foundation started in San Clemente.

Jewkes has had a passion for singing since she was young. She said she joined a choir in 6th grade called the Orange County Mormon Organization.

“I sang with them for a couple of years,” Jewkes said. “It was good practice learning singing techniques.”

Jewkes said she has recorded with a couple of studios, The Last Kakachee being the most recent one. She explained “Quiet Christmas Night” has been her favorite song since she started recording .

“It’s just very powerful and sounds good,” Jewkes said.

The producer of The Last Kakachee Mike Speed wrote the lyrics for “Quiet Christmas Night.” but needed someone to arrange and sing the song. He first accidentally sent the lyrics of the song to Jewkes’ mother, Tara Nordstrom, who works for him.

“She really liked the song and her daughter was (in town), and the other person (I wanted to arrange the song) never got back to me,” Speed said. “I told her if she would like to arrange the song, I’d pay her for it.”

Speed said Jewkes’ arrangement of the song blew him away. He loved her voice and feeling.

“Plus she did a little tweaking (to the song),” Speed said. “She took my basic melody and kind of enhanced it on the third and fifth verse.”

The song is a list of all of the different names of Christ, according to Jewkes. She said she feels it paints a full picture of all the attributes of Christ.

Speed explained he has an agreement with others to give them a portion of the proceeds of the song. Otherwise, everything else he earns will go to End Sex Abuse, a charity foundation that helps victims of sex abuse get the therapy they need. Speed is chairman of the foundation and Jewkes is president.

Jewkes thinks it is great Speed is donating the money from the song to End Sex Abuse.

“(The song) is promoting Christ and it’s also helping out people who have been victims of sexual abuse,” Jewkes said. “It’s a great cause.”

Speed said Jewkes has brought a sincerity both to the song and to End Sex Abuse.

“She’s a very opinionated, yet very sweet person,” Speed said. “She has a very pure heart.”

BYU pre-management sophomore Noah Jewkes, Maddison’s husband, said Maddison doesn’t like to sing in front of people. She would stop singing whenever Noah walked in on her when they first started dating. However, Noah tricked Maddison into singing for him in church one day.

“The bishop asked if we knew anybody who would sing in church, and I told him I did know someone,” Noah said.

Noah said Maddison is naturally gifted and didn’t have a lot of formal training with singing growing up.

Maddison grew up as an only child and she said her parents aren’t singers. However, her mother said their family has always loved music. She said one of Maddison’s ancestors helped compose hymns for the church.

“My husband comes from a line of musicians,” Nordstrom said. “It’s just a part of our lives.”

Maddison recorded other songs with The Last Kakachee, according to Speed. He said he would like to work with Maddison on other songs as well.

“She’s really talented, she’s really good,” Speed said. “She may see some success with this.”

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