A Feast in the Castle: NHS Madrigal Dinner 2019


NHS’s music program will be holding its 21st annual Madrigal Dinner on the first weekend of December.

Logan Laabs, Student of Journalsim

The Madrigal Dinner holds a feast in NHS cafeteria on Saturday, Dec. 7, to celebrate the joy and heart of the renaissance, junior Nickolaus Temayo says.

NHS’s music program will be holding its 21st annual Madrigal Dinner on the first weekend of December. This limited seating event has two shows; a 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. showing. Tickets are available at the price of $18 –talk to choral teacher Ms. Amy Westcott for information on tickets.

Guests will be served a free feast in the dining hall provided by MARQ catering. Menu for any other festivities can be found on the MARQ Catering Site.

Before the show, guests will walk outside cafeteria where they will be greeted by the Royal Court’s Castle Guard, guarding the evils that circle the village on Christmas. Followed by a short magic show by the Three Magii, using illusion trickery for the joy of the guests. Finally the Town Crier will introduce the castle’s magic into the minds of the guests as the gates are now opened for wanderers to enter the castle.

Choral teacher Amy Westcott is the director of this year’s dinner.

“I guess it’s always interesting as there are several components to the dinner servants, players, jesters, recorders, brass, etc . . . we all practice separately and the entire thing is never rehearsed together before a performance,” Westcott said.

Along with Ms. Westcott directing the Madrigal Singers — The Royal Court — and Fairest of the Fair, she also manages the servants of the dinner.

As participants enter this castle, they are welcomed by the humble Lord Chamberlain, who is the King’s trusty right-hand-man. Walking in, expect to hear the sounds of the Royal Court’s Recorder Ensemble spreading music as if spreading butter on bread. Followed soon after the Jesters appear to introduce the festivities that guests will later enjoy. Lastly guests suddenly hear enchanting singing of the song “Masters In This Hall” sung by the Royal Court as they walk to their seats.

Food is then presented by the servants — calling each table to the dinning hall. MARQ’s menu includes some of the following being served: Baked Chicken, Wild Rice Blend, and etc. Beverages included such as water, coffee, milk, and wassail (Cinnamon Apple Cider).

After several songs and joyous acts performed by the singers and Jesters, the Three Magii pull-off wonderful illusions with the help of guest volunteers. Next the actors/actresses of the Historines put on a 10-15 minute skit of famous renaissance writers.

Directed by Kathleen McCurdy, who has directed NHS’s fall musical for 4 years, the Neenah Historines performs a 10-15 minute play. The play that will be performed is a comedical rendition of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. William Shakespeare’s beloved tragedy has been transformed into comedy. Mrs. McCurdy warns audience members to be prepared to get yelled or laughed at.

Finally the dinner will end with the Royal Court and Fairest Of The Fair allowing audiences to sing “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” and “Silent Night” (Sang in German as well.). Lastly, it ends with Lord Chamberlain and the Mistress of Revels bidding farewell to guests.