SikestonChamber Choir going back in time with madrigal dinner

Sunday, February 5, 2012
Jalen Peet tries on the dress she will wear as a princess at the Feb. 11 Ye Olde Madrigal Dinner. Assisting her is Shataria Flye. (Jill Bock ~ Standard-Democrat)

SIKESTON, Mo. -- It is a trip back in time to ensure the future of the arts at Sikeston High School.

Proceeds from the second annual Ye Olde Madrigal Dinner, scheduled for Feb. 11 at the First Christian Church Fellowship Hall, will benefit the Sikeston Public Schools Foundation and in particular the Collins Foundation, which supports arts programs throughout the school district.

Abe Leach, director of the Sikeston High School Chamber Choir, describes the evening as "an open window into a time that most people aren't familiar with."

The Madrigal Dinner will re-create the Renaissance, a time of kings and queens, court pages and, of course, jesters. The music and the meal will reflect the time period as well.

"If one hasn't experienced an evening like this, they should. It is something that is very different from how we live our lives," Leach said.

The Sikeston High School Chamber Choir will present songs from the Renaissance while others will perform William Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing." Members of the school orchestra entertain as the evening opens and band members perform trumpet fanfares to mark momentous events during the event. Even junior high choir members are taking on the challenge: They will serve the meal.

Zach Moore, who serves as the jester, will entertain visitors with jokes and his most recently acquired skill, juggling. While it is his first year to be a part of the Madrigal Dinner, he has heard a lot about it from his fellow choir members.

"They say the food is really good and it is a lot of fun," Moore said.

Shataria Flye will reign over the evening as the queen. "All I have to do is sit there and drink wassail and wave," Flye said with a smile.

After having served as the queen last year, Flye said the evening offers a new way for the public to see the high school students perform. "It is something different and you get to eat the food," she added.

The choir's director agrees that the evening does appeal to those looking for a unique experience.

"This is not a formal concert in the way most of our performances are. People who are interested in more entertainment than just going to a concert need to see this and the kids need to see that the community supports the arts," Leach said.

Last year's event went over even better than expected, Leach said.

Doors open at about 6:30 p.m. with a traditional medieval English feast catered by Lynn Feeler served at 7 p.m.

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