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SMC prepares for 41st Madrigal dinner

By KATHRYN MARSHALL | Friday, December 6, 2013

Carols, costumes and medieval court dancers will usher in the Christmas season this weekend during Saint Mary’s 41st annual Madrigal Dinner in Regina Hall, presented by the College’s music department.

The Renaissance-era feast reenactment will include medieval music, food and dance, Nancy Menk, chair of the department of music, said.

The event is a unique concert experience where College students and faculty act, sing and dance while dressed in 16th-century attire, she said.

Twenty-two members of the Saint Mary’s College Women’s Choir volunteered their time for this year’s dinner, where they will perform traditional carols such as “The Holly and the Ivy” and “The Boar’s Head Carol,” Menk said.

“The students really love to do it, and many will do it all four years,” she said.

The evening gives students a chance to take part in a more theatrical performance, instead of a traditional concert where they stand still, Menk said. Junior Emmi Hazen has been a Madrigal singer for three years, and said the dinner is a fun tradition.

“The North Lounge of Regina [Hall] gets transformed into a candle-lit Renaissance banquet hall for the event and this draws in a lot of people,” Hazen said. “A lot of people in the South Bend, Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame communities have made it a holiday tradition to come to Madrigal dinners every year as a way to get the Christmas season started.”

The Madrigal Dinner creates a community among the performers, Menk said. Because of the large amount of traditional carols, upperclassmen are able to help underclassmen learn the music for the event, she said.  

“Being able to perform alongside with so many other talented women has not only provided me a learning experience, but a fun and lighthearted one as well,” freshman Sarah McKevitt said.

Menk said participants began preparing for the concert after fall break. Theatre students began decorating Regina Hall on Monday, and Menk said her favorite prop – a traditional boar’s head – came in Wednesday.

The shows will be held in the North Lounge of Regina Hall tonight and tomorrow at 7 p.m. A matinee performance will also be held on Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $42 for adults and $17 for children. For more information on Madrigals and ticket purchases, call the box office at (574) 284-4626 or visit moreaucenter.com

Contact Kathryn Marshall at [email protected]