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Department Of Music to Present 2017 Madrigal Feaste


Crystal Kachevas of Paragould as Queen Anne Boleyn and Casey Sherwood of Rose Bud as King Henry VIII are surrounded by merriment among the Royal Court.

JONESBORO – In the style of Merrie Olde England with costumes, decorations, comedy and fanfare, Arkansas State University Choirs will present their annual Madrigal Feaste early next month. The Concert Choir and Chamber Singers will host the evening’s entertainment, serving as the court of “King Henry the Eighth of England, Jonesboro and Craighead County.”

Guests will enjoy the wassail bowl beginning 15 minutes prior to seating, which begins with the first fanfare at 7 p.m. each evening, Friday and Saturday, Dec. 1-2. The festivities will be in the Grand Hall of Fowler Center, 201 Olympic Dr.

Music for the feaste will include traditional carols by the servers and audience, brass fanfares and harpsichord solos, as well as madrigals and chansons by the royal court. The entertainment will be led by A-State music professor Dr. Dale Miller and student conducting assistant Matthew Crociata.

The Red Wolf Quartet, a bassoon quartet of A-State musicians under the direction of Dr. Dale Clark, will perform as the guests are arriving and in a featured spot during the meal.

King Henry the Eighth and Queen Anne Boleynn will be played by baritone Casey Sherwood of Rose Bud and soprano Crystal Kachevas of Paragould. 

The lords and ladies of the Royal Court, played by the members of the Chamber Singers, are: Kaytie Bagwell and Abbey Peoples, both of Jonesboro, Emily Newell of Marmaduke, sopranos; Olivia Adams and Mary Rougeau, both of Jonesboro, and Sara Brown and Ashlyn Pillow, both of Paragould, altos; Alex Cummings of Harrisburg, Quaine Hogan and Nathan Liouh, both of Jonesboro, and Blake Watters of Mountain View, tenors; and Matthew Crociata, Michael Deal and Zach Lynn, all of Jonesboro, basses.

David Norris of Southside will play the part of the Jester and Connor Scroggins of Malvern will serve as Steward.  The knaves and wenches will be played by other members of the A-State Concert Choir.  Brian Henkelmann, instructor of music, will play harpsichord, and the student brass ensemble will also play.

“The 2017 A-State Department of Music Madrigal Feaste continues a 19-year tradition of presenting music, dance and short plays representing the Renaissance era in Great Britain.  Studying the music and dance, costumes and dialect of the time near the reign of King Henry the Eighth is a valuable part of the choral musician’s preparation — it’s great fun for performers and audience members, and a delicious meal for our guests," Miller said.

Tickets for performances will be available through Tuesday, Nov. 28, at the A-State Central Box Office, by telephone at (870) 972-2781, or online.

Seats for the performances are reserved and are limited by space available.  Ticket prices are $40 for the general public, and $35 for A-State faculty, staff and students, as well as senior citizens or groups of eight or more.

Madrigal Feaste proceeds will benefit the A-State Choir Camp scholarship fund.

For more details, one may contact Dr. Dale Miller at (870) 972-3841 or the Department of Music at (870) 972-2094.

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