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Singers from Department of Music to present annual Madrigal Feaste, Nov. 29-30


JONESBORO -- In the style of Merrie Olde England with costumes, decorations, comedy and fanfare, the Arkansas State University Choirs will present the 14th annual Madrigal Feaste in the Grand Hall of Fowler Center on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 29-30, at 6:30 p.m.

The Concert Choir and Chamber Singers, led by Dr. Dale Miller, director of choral activities, will host the evening’s entertainment.  They will serve as the court of “King Henry the Eighth of England, Jonesboro, and Craighead County.” Guests will enjoy the Wassail Bowl beginning at 6:15 and seating will begin with the first fanfare at 6:30.  Tickets for Thursday’s performance will be available through Monday, Nov. 26, at the ASU Central Box Office, 972-2781, or 888-278-3267, for $35 each.  The discount price of $30 each is available for ASU students, faculty and staff, and senior citizens, as well as groups of eight or more.

Seats for the Thursday performance are reserved and are limited by space available.  Ticket proceeds and donations to the ASU Choral Performance Fund will help to support a concert tour to Spain in 2014. 

Dr. Miller remarked that “The ASU singers will travel to Barcelona, Valencia, and Madrid for cultural, musical, and historical enrichment.  This financial support helps choir members to fulfill the mission to take ASU to the world and bring the world to ASU.”

The Friday evening performance will be hosted by the ASU Faculty Women’s Club.  General admission tickets are $30 each and may be obtained by contacting any FWC member, or Madrigal Feaste chair Libby James, (870) 972-3055 or 972-3330, or by e-mailing ljames@astate.edu

The ASU Chamber Singers form the Royal Court for the feaste.  King Henry the Eighth and Queen Anne Boleynn will be played by Christopher Orr, tenor of Jonesboro, and Jessica Baldwin, soprano of Paragould.  Joining them on the Royal Court are: Kate Smith of Wynne, Hannah McQuay of Bono, and Ginah Smith of White Hall, sopranos; Cori Beasley of Gilmer, Texas, Morgan Langley of White Hall, and Shannon O’Connor of Potomac, Md., mezzo-sopranos; Jacob Bushong of Paragould, and Alex Swenson of Poplar Bluff, tenors; and Jacob Kelley of Jonesboro, Gregory Self of Highland, John Phillians of Wynne, and Craig Young of Cassopolis, Mich., basses. 

Jesse Holder of Advance, Mo., will be the Jester, and Kale McDaniel of Jonesboro will be the Steward.  Mercedes Webb of Dexter will be the Mistress of the Bit Players. 

The 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 menu for the royal feaste includes “Wassail bowle, baby lettuce with dryed cranberries and feta, grylled breaste o’ chickyn with crème sauce, twyce baked potato casserole, greene beanes with roasted red peppers, and rolls.”  A flaming pudding will be served with the royal fanfare.

The singing knaves and wenches will be played by other members of the ASU Concert Choir and Chamber Singers.  Mr. Brian Henkelmann, of the ASU Music Department faculty, will play harpsichord; Jay Shepherd of Paragould will play guitar, and the student brass ensemble also will play.

For more information, call the Department of Music office at (870) 972-3841.

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