The Mahomet-Seymour High School Madrigal Singers will continue a tradition in the Community of Mahomet by presenting the 36th annual “Madrigal Dinner,” performances depicting a Christmas celebration in a castle setting during the Renaissance.
Elaborate decorations, ornate costumes of the period, humor, and beautiful music combine to provide a very entertaining evening to start the Christmas season. The MSHS Madrigal Singers will present three performances this year, a dessert performance on Saturday, December 8th at 2:00 pm, a full dinner performance on Saturday, December 8th at 6:00 pm, and a full dinner performance on Sunday, December 9th at 2:00 pm.
The word “madrigal” refers to a particular type of song that is sung without accompaniment and is written for 4-8 voices. The texts of madrigals sometimes deal with the subjects of animals or food, many madrigals talk about “love”– love from afar, unrequited love, or mourning the loss of love. Madrigal songs can also tell stories. A fa-la- la refrain often accompanies true madrigals; you will hear some of these during the dinner.
In addition to singing madrigal songs, this group also performs Christmas songs in “madrigal style”—singing to one another in addition to the audience. It was customary, after a large celebration in a banquet hall, to sit around the table and sing to one another as entertainment rather than watch someone else perform. The songs we present are designed to bring about the spirit of the Christmas season as well as to bring you pleasure. Another highlight of the evening is the presentation of a short play or “masque” by the singers who also act.
Tickets will go on sale to the public on Tuesday, Nov. 9th at the MSHS Choral concert or online at www.msmusicboosters.org. Prices for the full dinner performances are $20 each and $10 for the Saturday afternoon dessert performance; all tickets MUST be purchased in advance. No tickets for any performance are sold at the door. Guests are seated according to the date of ticket purchase, so early-birds get the closest seats.
The Mahomet-Seymour Madrigals, directed by Nicole Kuglich is the premier ensemble of the Mahomet-Seymour High School Choral Program. Initiated in 1983 by former director Janet Watkins, this extra-curricular group rehearses two afternoons per week to prepare for three Madrigal Dinner performances. In addition to the dinner performances, the Madrigals entertain many other groups and participate in Solo and Ensemble Contest.
The Madrigal Brass are directed by Phil Meyer and the Madrigal Recorder Consort is directed by Sue Keeble.