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Annual Madrigal event has new holiday flair

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By Sara Miller

The Evergreen High School music department’s upcoming Madrigal Faire re-creates the spontaneous fun and high spirits of Renaissance England. Laughter rings out amidst the ceremony, sprightly songs accent activities and the jester adds astonishment and wonder at every turn. Hear ye, hear ye! Come to the 23rd annual Madrigal Celebration and experience the essence of the Tudor Court brought to life.

In years past, the music department has hosted a Madrigal Dinner, complete with food and fanfare. This year’s event will have all of the fanfare without the high-ticket price of a sit-down dinner. Michelle Knight, director of instrumental music, and Charlene Hunt, director of choral music, have worked closely with students, parents and volunteers to breathe new life into the school’s holiday tradition.

“A lot of energy has been focused on the dinner portion of the event in the past. This year, Michelle and Charlene really wanted to focus on the talent of the students,” says Laurie Romberg, a parent volunteer.

Ticket buyers can take advantage of two start times for the Madrigal Faire, 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Upon entering the school, visitors can peruse the Madrigal Marketplace, which will be packed with handmade items for purchase and will feature a silent auction. Proceeds from sales of handmade and donated items benefit the EHS music department. The Faire will have carnival games, a kids’ corner with crafts and the famous EHS book nook for the little artists and bards to create holiday memories.

Visitors will be met with strolling minstrels and trios or quartets re-creating the typical songs, fanfares and dances that might have been heard by King Henry VIII. This spontaneous practice, known as “wenching” in medieval times, will give visitors a glimpse of juggling, instrumental music and holiday tunes, complemented by the costumes and merriment of King Henry’s court. Attendees will sip on their choice of a hot or cold holiday beverage, and there will be plenty of holiday grub for nibbling.

A ticket to the Madrigal Faire also provides admission to the Madrigal Concert. Seating for the concerts will be at 3:30 or 7 p.m., depending upon admission time to the Faire. The concert will feature students from the EHS choirs, chorale groups, band and orchestra. Traditional madrigals such as “The Wassail Song” and other rousing a cappella and instrumental tunes will be the merry mainstay of the concert performance.

The Madrigal Faire is sure to be filled with Renaissance revelry that will delight all ages. You won’t want to miss your chance to step into the great baronial hall of King Henry’s merry ole’ England for an afternoon of banter, barter and musical beauty.

Madrigal Marketplace and Faire

Presented by the Evergreen High School Music Department on Saturday, Dec. 5, at Evergreen High School, 29300 Buffalo Park Road.

Marketplace/Faire entrances are at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. The Madrigal Concert will take place at 3:30 or 7 p.m.

Tickets are $10 (children under 5 are admitted free)

Tickets can be purchased at www.Brownpapertickets.com, or call Eunice Senyard at 303-284-0897.