Valley News -

By Tony Ault
Staff Writer 

Maddie Leigh Wichlerman, Temecula's young country singer, has her eyes on Nashville's 'Grand Ole Opry'

 

Last updated 5/11/2018 at 12:06pm

Tony Ault

Maddie Leigh Wichlerman, a popular young Temecula country singer, shares one of her newest songs, "Changing the Rules," in an appearance the Canyon Cowboy Saloon in Canyon Lake Town Center Sunday, May 6. Maddie is soon to release her first "e-CD" with her favorite original songs and cover songs.

She hasn't been seen on "America's Got Talent" or other television music productions, but 17-year-old Maddie Leigh Wichlerman from Temecula is carving out a country and pop singing career that is certain to end up in Nashville or Branson if she keeps chasing her dream.

Wichlerman, who will graduate from high school this year, made another appearance Sunday evening by popular demand at the new Canyon Cowboy Saloon in the Canyon Lake Town Center. Her appearance debuted three of her newest songs, "Boys Aren't Like That Anymore," "Changing the Rules" and her own version of "I'll Fly Away." All the songs received loud applause by a surprised and pleased audience.

"What, she's only 17? I can't believe it. She's great," one audience member said, hearing Leigh for the first time.

Wichlerman began her interest in music when she was 6-years-old, singing in the St. Martha's Catholic Church Choir in Murrieta. What clinched her bent toward country music was an appearance at 9-years-old in a school talent show. Her parents William and Alyssa Wichlerman encouraged her to enter at her St. Jeanne De Lestonnac School in Temecula.

"She did so well; she has loved it ever since," William Wichlerman said.

"I love country music," Maddie Leigh Wichlerman said. "I like a little pop here and there. What I want to do though is inspire people with my music. That is my goal. I like music that is fun and lifts peoples' spirits. Music is very powerful that way."

In her Canyon Cowboy appearance, she had the audience raising their arms in the air and clapping with the words "Can I get a Hallelujah?" from the cover songs "My Church" and "I'll Fly Away." Backing her up was guitarist Kevin Zingale and drummer and longtime friend Jimmy Marshall. Her vocals were supported by Marshall and Zingale as the music echoed through the restaurant.

In middle school, Wichlerman's natural talent began to shine through as she took voice lessons and grew rapidly in her music knowledge.

"I've known her a long time," Marshall said. "Ever since middle school. Now she is going as far (in music entertainment), as far as she wants to go."

Wichlerman had another latent skill in old country yodeling that sparked to life, after her coach showed her how and to increase her voice range.

"I want to do more yodeling now," Wichlerman said, looking to her favorite yodeler and country singer LeAnn Rimes who recently made an appearance in Temecula. Her favorite yodeling song is "I want to be a Cowboy's Sweetheart."

Tony Ault

Young country singer Maddie Leigh Wichlerman, 17, from Temecula with two of her band members, left, Keven Zingale and Jimmy Marshall make an appearance Sunday, May 8, at the Canyon Cowboy Saloon, 31504 Railroad Canyon Road, Suite 1, in the Canyon Lake Town Center.

Her improved vocal range was displayed in 2017 when she appeared before thousands of people to sing the national anthem at the San Diego Padres opening game, Sept. 8. The trio have played with the Temecula-area band "Endeavor" on occasion with the group backing her up at appearances at Baily's Winery in Temecula. She has also performed at the Merc in Old Town Temecula.

"I love it," Wichlerman said.

Her parents and two younger sisters, Katlyn, 14, and Lillian, 13, and many family friends attended the performance at the Canyon Cowboy, listening to their aspiring entertainer and giving hugs and congratulations after the first set.

Maddie Leigh Wichlerman's father wore a big smile between performances and said he is very proud of his daughter, but as a father, "you have to stay humble, to be sure she stays grounded," William Wichlerman

The family is looking forward to a tour across the nation beginning in Phoenix this summer after she graduates, he said, keeping their eye on Nashville, Tennessee, the heart of country music and her favorite place.

"I would really like to appear at the Grand Ole Opry," Maddie Leigh Wichlerman said.

Many of Wichlerman's songs can be heard on her webpage, http://www.maddieleighofficial.com, on Facebook and YouTube.

 

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