All persons of wit, refinement and genteel manner are invited to a candle-lit Fifteenth Century Banquet hall, draped with medieval banners and pine boughs accenting the scene, English court jesters beckon the diners to join the festivities. The mood is one of enchantment, magic and laughter, a mystical lifting of care and woes, and above all the cleansing purity of music from long ago….
The Mendota High School Music Department is proud to present the 46th Annual Madrigal Dinners. 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. 1 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 2 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 Rachel Brandner, Becca Hadley, Bonnie Hall, Maya Martin, Olivia Ross, Faith Anderson, Madison Pappas, Jenna Stanford, Alex Stremlau, Katherine Wohrley, Eulysses Preciado, Emilio Raya, Dylan Saylor, Dekin Walter, Noah DeLong, Fabian Gomez, Cole Pursell, and Jacob Stohr. Jesters are Angelique Baker and Allison Olczak, along with Leilani Landeros as the Wench.
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!