MENDOTA - The MHS madrigal singers and cast are gearing up for the 45th Annual Madrigal Dinner. Once again this festive celebration is being presented in the MHS auditorium complete with full-course meal, renaissance music, court jesters and wench, woodwind and brass choirs. The dinners will be held on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 3 at 2:30 p.m.
Madrigal singing came to England from Italy in the late 16th century and was used as an informal type of private entertainment at castles and country homes of English nobility. Often the lords and ladies performed the music themselves. Naturally, during the twelve days of the Christmas season, there was much entertaining and singing of madrigals.
Madrigals are songs written for small groups in which several voice parts are skillfully combined so that each part is interesting and independent, both melodically and rhythmically. In addition to performing standard repertoire from the Renaissance Era, the singers will also present traditional and contemporary settings of well-known carols.
MHS choir students auditioned for this ensemble in August. Since then, they have spent numerous hours each week outside of the school day in rehearsals. The program includes 20 pieces of music that must be committed to memory. Many of these pieces are collegiate-level difficulty and are extremely demanding upon vocal technique and intellect.
This year’s madrigal singers include Blaire Collins, Becca Hadley, Anna Heiden, Payton Klatt, Amaya Olivas, Natalie Landgraf, Amy Lewis, Madison Pappas, Jenna Stanford, Katherine Wohrley, Kole Buckley, Dylan Saylor, Dekin Walter, Fabian Gomez, Matthew Grenter, Cole Pursell, Emilio Raya and Jacob Stohr. Jesters are Patrick Foley and Allison Olczak, along with Leilani Landeros as the Wench and Angelique Baker as the Jester-in-Training.
Dinners will include wassail cup, roast pork loin, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, cranberry salad, bread pudding, dinner rolls and beverage. All tickets are $20 and may be purchased at Sports N Stuff in downtown Mendota. All seats are reserved. There is limited seating for each performance, so hurry and get your tickets now!