The Saint Mary’s Department of Music will present their 44th annual Madrigal Christmas Dinner Celebration in the North Lounge of Regina Hall this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.According to Nancy Menk, the chair of the music department and the person responsible for putting the program together, the dinner — like other madrigal dinners — is a re-creation of a 16th century holiday feast. “The idea is that it takes place in a manor and the lord of the manor hosts guests from the community,” she said. “The dinner includes entertainment, instruments, dancers and there is sort of a little play going on during the dinner.”The choir group who performs at the dinner, or the “Madrigals,” have been rehearsing for the dinner since October, sophomore Riley Harber said.“I do women’s choir four hours a week and this is an additional two, which is challenging, but definitely worth it,” Harber, a member of the Madrigals, said. “It’s fun to be immersed in the middle ages atmosphere.”This year’s dinner will mark Menk’s 33rd year of involvement with the dinner at Saint Mary’s. Over the years, she said she has seen the performance change for the better.The Madrigals used to be a mixed group, including men and women from both Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s. This tradition changed 10 years ago to make the group an all-women’s choir.“We changed it to all women so more Saint Mary’s girls could be involved,” she said.The night also used to include an opera during the dinner.“Apparently, before I came they would do a little opera during the dinner — back then it was an extended evening,” she said. “Over the years we’ve added dancers, changed the scenery and have improved it.”Laurie Lowry, a senior lecturer for dance at Saint Mary’s, has been the choreographer of the dinner for the past five years. She said dance brings another element to the dinner.“I think it’s really fun to look at another element in the arts,” she said. “The audience can sit back and enjoy the music and the patterns.“Early dance like that wasn’t really elaborate, but it’s tricky. It puts a different take on what the audience feels and sees.”Menk said madrigal dinners used to be more prominent among schools, which is why its preservation at Saint Mary’s is imperative.“Maybe 20 to 30 years ago, there were more madrigal dinners taking place, but some of them have died away,” she said. “It gives the students a chance to sing repertoire from a different era, which we don’t usually do.”Lowry agreed the Saint Mary’s tradition should be preserved not only for the fun, but for the historical experience.“I think the ones that are in it get a sense of the history of music, the history of dance and so they have a true experience that is happening,” she said. “They’re not just studying it in a history book — they experience it.”Lowry said she uses this method of experience in her classes as well.“I make my students go to the dance floor to experience the genre we are working,” she said. “Unless you experience it, you don’t really understand that.”Lowry said the experience is not only for the actors, but for the audience members as well.“I think that our society right now is so far away from history that regenerating the reality of the tradition of that period gives a sense of what it was like to live back then,” Lowry said. “And it’s just a fun Christmas tradition — it’s different rather than going to a movie or the mall.”The menu includes traditional Renaissance foods such as Cornish game hen, roast beef au jus, roasted vegetables and “wassail,” a traditional hot apple cider.Harber said the dinner helps her get into the holiday spirit, and she hopes it does the same for others.“When I was a kid my dad would always take me to Renaissance fairs, and in high school I always thought it was cool but I never got to participate, so when I got the opportunity I thought I would take advantage of it,” she said. “The Christmas spirit is alive even though it’s not really close to Christmas. I hope people go and have a good time, eat some food, get some laughs and I hope they get the same magical Christmas energy out of it that I do.”Tags: Christmas Madrigal, nancy menk, SMC Department of Music
Is this the kind of government we deserve? – July 10, 2017 Bio Hugh BowdenExecutive EditorHugh writes editorials, covers Hancock County sports and helps out where needed in The American’s editorial department. When he’s not on the sidelines, he enjoys playing jazz and tennis. email@example.com Like he did in the ’60s, Noel Paul Stookey sings out in troubling times – December 27, 2017 Latest posts by Hugh Bowden (see all) GSA surges in 4th to win Northern Maine title – February 26, 2017 Latest Posts Matthew Coombs of the Sumner Tigers heads the ball away fromStephen Cochrane of the Deer Isle-Stonington Mariners in Sumner’s10-0 win on Friday. PHOTO BY HUGH BOWDENELLSWORTH — With less than a week to go in the regular season, the Ellsworth Eagles and the Sumner Tigers are the only Hancock County boys’ teams assured of tournament play.But the Eagles saw their string of six consecutive shutouts snapped Tuesday when they were forced to settle for a 1-1 double-overtime tie with the Foxcroft Academy Ponies.After playing through a scoreless first half, Blake Arno put the 8-3-1 Ponies in front with a rebound putback midway through the second half.Conor Maguire knotted the score for Ellsworth, scoring on an assist from Jeff Weeks with 11 minutes remaining.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textNeither team could break the tie in overtime play.Goalkeepers Nick Bagley and Bruce St. Peter combined for four saves on 11 shots for the 11-0-1 Eagles.Logan Butera had seven saves on 19 shots for the Ponies.Ellsworth is sitting comfortably in first place in the Maine Principals’ Association Eastern Maine Class B standings.The 3-6-1 Mount Desert Island Trojans are holding down the 13th and last qualifying spot in the Class B ranks. But with point-worthy games against Old Town, Hermon and Ellsworth still remaining at press time, MDI easily could climb a spot or two with one or more wins.In Class C, Sumner’s Tigers saw their record dip to 8-4-0 on Tuesday with a 2-0 loss to the Bangor Christian Patriots.The Tigers now are ranked fourth in the Class C standings.The 4-7-1 George Stevens Academy Eagles have slipped out of playoff contention, to 13th place, with just two games remaining — both against teams at the bottom of the standings.The winless Bucksport Golden Bucks and the Deer Isle-Stonington Mariners, with only one win, are out of the playoff picture.In earlier action this week:MDI 2, GSA 0The Trojans held the Eagles scoreless in a 2-0 win on Wednesday, Oct. 8, in Blue Hill.Ellsworth 8, John Bapst 0The Eagles claimed their sixth consecutive shutout on Thursday as they cruised to an 8-0 win over the John Bapst Crusaders in Ellsworth.The Eagles spread the scoring around, getting goals by eight players — Jacob Jordan, Anthony Gardner, Brady White, Valter Moeller, Jack Weeks, Griffin Nightingale, Alex Braley and Conor Maguire.Gardner also had a pair of assists and Weeks had one.Goalkeepers Bruce St. Peter and Nick Bagley combined for just four saves on six shots for Ellsworth, and Bach Nguyen and Josh Burleigh combined for 10 stops on 29 shots for John Bapst.Sumner 10, DI-Stonington 0Max Eklund scored three goals and Thirapong Janla had two as the Tigers romped to a 10-0 shutout of the Mariners on Thursday in Sullivan.Sumner also got goals from Baramee Janla, Noah Goldfarb, Nathan Donovan, Brandon Grinnan and goalkeeper Sam Smith.Sumner’s defense made it an easy afternoon for Smith, who was not called upon to make a single save.Ethan Shepard made 12 stops on 22 shots for the Mariners. For more photos from DI-S vs Sumner, click here.Washington Academy 1, Sumner 0On Friday in Sullivan, the Tigers gave the top-ranked Washington Academy Raiders all they could handle before losing a hard-fought contest 1-0.Quinn Aucoin netted the lone goal of the game for the Raiders with just over 11 minutes remaining in the first half.Presque Isle 4, MDI 3On Saturday in Bar Harbor, the third-ranked Presque Isle Wildcats eked out a 4-3 win over the Trojans.Mattanawcook Academy 6, Bucksport 0The Mattanawcook Academy Lynx got a three-goal hat trick from Brady Hawkins as they downed the Golden Bucks 6-0 on Saturday in Lincoln.Riley Coburn, Brett Crocker and Reece Crosby added single goals for the Lynx.Corbett Arnold had an easy day in goal for Mattanawcook, making three saves on just five shots.For Bucksport, Dylan Robbins and Tanner Bishop combined for 14 saves on 25 shots.Penobscot Valley 6, DI-Stonington 0Grant Doane had three goals and Jacob Whitten, Jarrett Priest and Brady Harding each scored one as the Penobscot Valley Howlers downed the Mariners 6-0 on Saturday for their seventh shutout of the season.Goalkeeper Joseph Higgins made three saves on as many shots for the Howlers, and Krisford Melanio had 15 saves on 27 shots in goal for the 1-11-0 Mariners.Central 10, Bucksport 0At East Corinth on Monday, the Central Red Devils romped to a 10-0 win over the Golden Bucks.Andrew Speed had three goals and Matt Hewitt and Caleb Shaw scored two each to lead the Red Devils, who outshot Bucksport 23-3.MDI 1, John Bapst 0The Mount Desert Island Trojans nipped the John Bapst Crusaders 1-0 on Monday in Bangor.
New signing Jordan Ayew trained with FC Lorient for the first time at Carnac on Tuesday as he prepares to boost the Ligue outfit.
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