The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

November 26, 2013

Madrigal 'lords and ladies' to reunite

DANVILLE — Students who participated in Danville High School’s madrigal dinners/shows the past 30-plus years look back on that experience fondly.

“Many of the students in Madrigal say, ‘It’s just my favorite thing to do,’” said Marty Lindvahl, former choral director at Danville High School.

“The evening is just magical. There’s something warm and magical about it.”

Those fond memories led Lindvahl and Andrew Seibert, a former student, to come up with the idea for the first madrigal reunion. All former madrigal singers, jesters, brass and string players who participated in the DHS Madrigals from its start in the 1970s until now are invited to the reunion.

It will begin at 5 p.m. Friday at St. James United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall. The agenda is: doors open at 4:45 p.m., with check-in; group singing at 5 p.m.; doxology (blessing of the food) at 5:55 p.m., and the feast at 6 p.m.

Participants will sing the traditional collection of madrigals that has been a part of every dinner. The host committee will select a few additional songs and a couple of Christmas carols, as well.

Lindvahl said close to 75 people have already signed up for the reunion. Others are urged to register as soon as possible.

When talking about past performances, Lindvahl and Seibert decided, she said, “It would be fun to get together. There’ll be singing and food and fellowship and dessert.”

Larry Voorhees, choral director from 1981-99, said, “I do have fond memories.” Like Lindvahl, he said former students have indicated that the madrigal performance was among their favorite activities.

The format has stayed pretty much the same since the first madrigal dinner in the mid-1970s, he said. The medieval-style Christmas program combines traditional holiday music with modern music sung a capella by students in medieval clothing while audience members enjoy a full dinner show.

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