DANVILLE — Danville High School’s Madrigals will usher in the holiday season in the community with three days of grand performances and medieval feasts.
Tickets are still available for the 45th annual Madrigals Dinners that will start next week at the St. James United Methodist Church, 504 N. Vermilion St.
Three nights of meals, music and merriment will be offered Tuesday, Dec. 3, Wednesday, Dec. 4, and Thursday, Dec. 5.
Doors open each night at 5:30 p.m., with pre-shows and students singing in groups. The show and the serving of the feast will start at 6 p.m. Hickory River Catering will once again provide a smoked beef brisket meal this year.
The DHS Madrigal Dinner is a longstanding community event during which guests have an opportunity to step back into medieval times. The event combines traditional holiday music with medieval music sung acappella by students dressed in period costumes while guests enjoy a full dinner show.
Adult patron and student patron tickets are $30, which reserve early seating privileges for the dinner and the show. Patrons are special friends who choose to give extra financial support to the DHS Choral Boosters program.
The cost for non-patron adult tickets is $25 for the dinner and the show, and $15 for children aged 10 and younger.
DHS Choral Director Jeff Thomas said the students “will sing the classics everyone loves” as well as few new songs that have been added to this year’s program.
“We’ve added a couple of fun songs,” he said.
One of those songs is the 1999 hit “All Star” by Smash Mouth.
“They will sing ‘All Star’ but reimagined in the Madrigal style,” he said.
Thomas reassured that the old standby favorites, such as “Still, Still, Still,” also will be sung.
“The kids are really, really talented this year. This is college-level material,” he said, referring to the song.
“They also will sing ‘Mary, Did You Know?’ and ‘Silent Night’ at the end of the evening,” Thomas said.
“He is the reason for the season, and this is a nice, spiritual event,” he added.
Dinner show guests might notice a few more new costumes this year.
A couple years ago, a Danville District 118 employee and a few parents made new costumes and refreshed old ones.
“We have two to four new costumes a year,” Thomas said. “The patrons give us the funds that allow us to buy new garland or a new costume. We try to keep it fresh and new.”
In keeping with tradition, though, Thomas promises wassail drinks and figgy pudding will be served.
Also, the iconic boar’s head will make an appearance during the dinners, and, for those wondering, no, the head is not made of papier-mâché.
“It’s a real boar’s head that has been taxidermied,” Thomas said. “He’s seen some better days. It has some papier-mâché repairs, but it has real fur and marble eyes.
“The boar’s head has seen many a Madrigal dinner, and it will be at this year’s 45th event.”