Franklin Park filled with traditional sounds at Madrigal Dinner
Neal Dominic Lozada (from left), Jacob Drozdowsk and Raul Reynoso perform, accompanied by the GraceNotes Singers. | Provided
Updated: January 28, 2013 6:06AM
FRANKLIN PARK — With the Christmas season in full swing, Leyden’s Madrigal Dinner adds to the magic.
The Chamber Singers from both East and West Leyden, Dressed in medieval holiday attire, performed Yuletide music earlier this month in the East Leyden Little Theatre. The Madrigal Dinner has been a Leyden tradition for about 19 years.
The dinner featured foods similar to those from medieval times, such as apple cider and “boar” (roast beef).
The Leyden GraceNotes also performed at this year’s event. The students have been practicing for weeks leading up this performance.
The Chamber singers talked in English accents, and told stories of the original Madrigal dinners in England. They even told the story of the boar’s head that medieval England used to eat during their Christmas parties.
Leyden music director Stacy Cunningham picks the music for the dinner. “Many of the pieces are traditional carols and several have to do with the actual timing of serving the meal at this event,” she said. “Each year I also pick songs that will make a specific group sound good.”
Carols sung this year included “Carol of the Bells” and “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Cunningham said picking the music and writing the script is the best part about doing a Madrigal.
To add the authenticity of the Madrigal dinner, there were four Jesters, two Court Wenches and a Lord Leyden. Costumes are made for the students by Ms. Chris Schulz.
Anna Modrich auditioned to be in the Chamber Singers at the end of her sophomore year and loves being part of a Leyden Christmast tradition.
“We’ve been practicing since last year,” Modrich said. “It’s about 42 songs. It’s a lot of work but it’s a lot of fun.”
Cunningham hopes students walk away with a love of music and a great appreciation for tradition.
“I hope that the audience gets to escape reality for about two hours and enjoy these kids’ hard work,” Cunningham said. “I hope they leave inspired from our music and the incredible talents of all of these young people.”