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Madrigal Dinners ring in holidays at SMC

Danielle Lerner | Friday, December 3, 2004

The trumpets are sounding in Renaissance fashion as the Saint Mary’s music department presents the annual Madrigal Dinners tonight at 7 p.m. through Sunday in Regina Hall. Now in its 32nd year, the event has become one of the College’s signature events, offering both food and live entertainment to ring in the holiday season.

Richard Baxter, director of special events at Saint Mary’s, says turnout for the event is always high, especially among members of surrounding communities. He said ticket sales continue to increase as the event approaches.

“People really look to it as the beginning of the Advent season,” Baxter said. “It is a beautiful way to begin Christmas.”

The Madrigal Dinners offer guests a holiday feast, served by costumed waiters accompanied by colorfully attired singers from the Saint Mary’s Women’s Choir. Guests will also enjoy live music, jugglers and a jester, with interludes of comedic skits.

Saint Mary’s junior Ashley Peltier is looking forward to her second year of performance at the Madrigal Dinners.

“Each show is different,” Peltier said. “We depend on the audience’s reaction to us and it is very unique compared to other theatre.”

New additions to the behind-the-scenes technical team are looking forward to updating the event.

“The new tech team will have the opportunity to bring in new practices this year,” Baxter said. “They can bring in a new look and approach it with a fresh face.”

Different from previous shows, this year’s performances feature only Saint Mary’s students. Sophomore Lauren Knisley said anticipation is high among students.

“This is my second year and everyone seems very excited about it,” Knisley said. “It is a really fun event overall and the festivities and costumes are really different than other events.”

Overall, the Madrigal Dinners are sure to bring fun, food and festivities to guests of all ages and the College as a whole.

“It is a good family atmosphere,” Peltier said. “We offer live entertainment and good, clean comedy that brings families out together.”

Baxter agreed and thinks Saint Mary’s is the perfect place for such an event.

“It is everything Saint Mary’s College is about,” Baxter said. “It offers great art, great food, and a great setting as a prelude to a great season.”