Alleanah Hancock-Jammeh’s Musical Journey

When 17-year-old Alleanah Hancock-Jammeh steps onto stage, the nervous flutters in her stomach begin to dissipate. As the music starts, a smile spreads across her face. Singing makes her happy, and her joy is contagious. 

“It’s really fun,” said Hancock-Jammeh, a junior at Madison West High School. “When I’m on stage, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

Earlier this year, Hancock-Jammeh competed with Colla Voce, Madison West’s a cappella group, at the 2024 International Championship of High School A Cappella tournament, winning third place in the regional quarterfinals and moving on to the semifinals in March at Pabst Theater in Milwaukee. The group’s 10-minute set featured “Greedy” by Ariana Grande, “First Light” by Hozier, including a solo by Hancock-Jammeh, and “Running with the Wolves” by Aurora. 

“The group has a ‘Pitch Perfect’ vibe,” said Hancock-Jammeh. “While some groups have professional arrangers and choreographers, our group is student led, and we arrange and choreograph everything ourselves. It’s cool that we all get to contribute to our pieces as a collective group.”

Hancock-Jammeh has been honing her personal sound repertoire by practicing beatbox and trumpet sounds.

“We have one member who is a vocal percussionist,” she said. “The rest of us imitate instruments and accentuate our voices.”

In addition to participating in Colla Voce for the past two years, Hancock-Jammeh participates in Madison West’s concert choir, the school’s top choir.

“I’ve also sang with the Madison Youth Choirs since second grade, with artistic director Micheal Ross,” she said. 

Hancock-Jammeh performed with the Madison Youth Choirs and the Mt. Zion Gospel Choir at Madison Symphony Orchestra’s (MSO) “A Madison Symphony Christmas” in December 2023, and she sang with Mt. Zion Gospel Choir at the annual Madison & Dane County Martin Luther King Day Observance at Overture Center in January 2024 and MSO’s Concerts on the Square in July 2023. 

“I’ve been singing all my life,” she said. “I can’t remember ever not singing.”

Hancock-Jammeh’s powerful voice helped her land the role of Dorothy in Children’s Theater of Madison’s (CTM) production of “The Wiz,” which ran October 7-22, 2023, in The Playhouse at Overture Center for the Arts. This was her first lead role with CTM, previously participating in the organization’s 2023 fundraiser performance. 

She took the stage again in February as Audrey II the plant in Madison West’s production of “The Little Shop of Horrors,” her third time performing in the school’s annual musical.

Hancock-Jammeh has wowed audiences singing the National Anthem at UW-Madison’s men’s basketball and hockey games and sung praises at the Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service at City Church.

Most recently, she performed in CTM’s live dinner-theater experience at The Sylvee, assisted with MSO’s Link Up at Overture Center and participated in Madison Youth Choirs’ spring concert, singing “Fern Hill,” John Corigliano’s setting of a poem by Dylan Thomas. 

“It’s a beautiful 13-minute piece,” she said.  

She also participated in Madison West’s spring choir concert as well as Fine Arts Night and Fine Arts Week.

The music continues this summer. Hancock-Jammeh plans to attend UW-Madison’s Summer Music Clinic, where she’ll attend classes on composing, arranging and more, learning directly from music professionals. 

In her free time, she’ll continue arranging pieces with her a cappella group and hanging out with her family and friends.

“I love singing and am always ready for more opportunities as they pop up,” she said. 

Hancock-Jammeh enjoys seeing the expressions on people’s faces when she’s shared her gift of singing.

“I can see how my singing has influenced their emotions and made them happy in some way,” she said. 

After high school, Hancock-Jammeh aspires to study music education or musical performance, hopefully at UW-Madison. 

In the meantime, we will likely hear a lot more of Hancock-Jammeh’s beautiful voice, singing throughout the community, uplifting our hearts and souls.