With a chance to transport audience members to 14th century England, the A Capella choir’s annual Renaissance Madrigal Feast is at 7:30 p.m. this Friday and Saturday in the Memorial Union Ballroom.
“People come along, sit here, have dinner and whatnot and they kind of get a chance to forget everything, kind of leave everything at the door, kind of step into the fourteenth century and experience that kind of music and just leave all their worries behind,” said Jerrod McNutt, senior music education major.
Molli Chitwood, senior music education major and director of the Madrigal Feast, said the event has been going on for around 20 years. The money made from it goes to fund scholarships and other things for the choir.
“We’re just trying to prepare for maybe another tour and then scholarships and just, business costs of A Capella choir,” Chitwood said.
Tickets sold for $28, a price that Chitwood said is “steep” but worth it for the experience. Ticket sales ended Tuesday.
“You get a lot for what you pay for, you get a concert, you get a play, you get a dinner, just in one evening, so it’s really great,” Chitwood said.
Chitwood said the performance includes a king and queen, who act as the hosts of the party, a royal court, peasants and singers dressed in clothing from the period. The dinner will start off with a plate of grapes and cheeses and moves on to corn chowder soup and spinach salad, stuffed chicken for the main course and cherry cheesecake for dessert.
This year’s performance is a little different from previous years; instead of having just the chamber choir members perform shorter madrigal songs, the whole choir is singing one major work, “Gaudete.” Chitwood said there’s also more university involvement because an ensemble will accompany the choir and the art department will be showing some art, but for the most part, the performance will be similar to past years. There will be a magician and performers wandering during the meal, followed by a short play and the concert ending with a candlelight vigil to the song “Silent Night.”
“We try and stick with tradition for a lot of things just because it makes people excited about it,” Chitwood said.
Jennifer Brady, senior biology major, said this year’s play is about a damsel in distress who gets captured by the evil Sheriff Notting and the cast has to wander through an enchanted forest to save her.
“The play this year is kind of a mixture of a Wild West tale and ‘The Wizard of Oz’ – the shows are a little ridiculous,” Brady said.
McNutt said the event gets people in the mood for the holiday season.
“It’s right before Thanksgiving and it kind of gets everybody in the mood for the giving season I guess, the joyous time that is this time of the year,” McNutt said.