Saturday, December 8, 2012

Madrigal dinner

The Madrigal Dinner is an event I look forward to every year- it is the most wonderful way I can imagine to kick off the Holiday Season!  Most years I had been busy up to the this point making one or more of these costumes.  This year I just happened to have a year off, which was a nice change.  I understand that some of the boys' costumes are getting a little tatty and will need to be replaced- so I doubt next year will be another unproductive one!  :) Which is fine, as I do love to make these clothes..... except when I am finishing off a hat or headpiece the day before the dress rehearsal and have an explosion of fabric, hot glue and feathers all over my sewing room!  
But, that is part of the adventure!  
The Madrigal dinner, for those of you who are unfamiliar, is an event that is put on by the HS choral department, under the skilled direction of Mr. Mark Donner.  The kids have to audition for parts, and it is quite an honor to be chosen for the court.  There is an additional singing group, called the Singing Pages, a triple trio of girls who serve as singers and wait staff!  They all are amazing singers as well.  The event is an enactment of the Renaissance times, where we are seated as guests of a castle hall and the "Royalty" is singing and entertaining from the head table.  The meal (which is catered) is served in courses with rounds of old Christmas songs in between.  There is a jester who does some entertaining, some years more entertaining that others!, and trumpeters/flautist/clarinetist to add to the atmosphere.  Ticket to the event are prized, and there is usually a line the first day they are on sale to get front table seating!

The singing is beautiful, and I now know by heart many old Christmas songs that I never knew existed! There are some beautiful pieces that I only hear at the Madrigal dinner and there are interpretations of common Christmas hymns and secular  music that is what this event is known for.  I will never forget the first time I went, about 15 years ago and was BLOWN away by a young lady doing a breathtaking solo of "Mary had a Baby".  It was beautiful.  I'm also very partial to O Holy Night (makes me cry) and Carol of the Bells.  One of my FAVORITE parts is at the end of the night when we get to sing along!  The cast  disperses itself among the guests, walk around and sing some carols with us and then we do a 3 part round, called Music Alone Shall Live, and the audience and singer divide up and participate in a wonderful finale!  Love it.
All things shall perish,
from under the sky,
Music alone shall live,
Music alone shall live, 
Music alone shall live,
Never to die.

A lovely dress I made for Briana, the flautist

One of my favorite costumes that I have made- 

Cat and Debi

Mrs. O and her buddy Blake!
Here are candids from a few of the past couple years' Madrigal dinner.
Jenna in the dress I made last year

One of my boy's costumes

Another costume I made- boys

Charles' costume that I made

Last year's madrigal outfits- with Pam and Cat

I have been making Madrigal dresses for many years- about 18 I think- and have probably made 25 - 30 costumes for the court (I make most costumes for the individual kids) and many additional things for the School's costume collection.  I will update this post when I go and retrieve my madrigal photo album and photos of the pictures.

Anthony's Costume- made 2 years ago

My purple boy costume

Rachel surrounded by blue

I look forward to next year, now!  It is too bad it is all over so soon!  On to Christmas now.....  Until next time, find your joy!

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