OSKALOOSA – The Oskaloosa High School Choirs will host their Annual Madrigal Dessert Theater this weekend at Oskaloosa Middle School.
For the past 18 years the Oskaloosa High School Choir, Concert Choir and Madrigal Choir have hosted this event as a way to bring the entire music department together. Over the years, the event has grown drastically, drawing the community out more and more each year. Oskaloosa Choir Director Chris Weinreich said he has seen the event grow so much that they had to add in more showings.
“During the Christmas season, there’s always kind of a need to put a show together that showed, you know, the entire music department. And that’s where it started. And then more people throughout the years just started coming. At one point, we would turn people away when we just had it over one night, because there just wasn’t any room for them. And then some parents and myself decided well, let’s try it over two nights. And then we did that for a few years and in three years and the same thing happened there was, there were more people that would show up that we had tickets for. It started very, very small and has grown over the years, ”
Weinreich said he thinks a lot of that growth has to do with word of mouth promotion.
“It started it started very very small and has grown over the years, I think a lot of a lot of word of mouth and the more kids that go through the program, they’ll come back and watch it with their family too so it’s it’s been a common tradition for a lot of our community members, I think.”
The event is formerly known as the Madrigal Dinner, Weinreich said it is now called Madrigal Dessert Theater.
“We’ve hosted this over the last 18 years. What it is, is if you are familiar with Monty Python the Quest for the Holy Grail, that kind of stuff. It’s really, really funny, tongue in cheek Madrigal Renaissance experience. There’s dessert served and we have three choirs that’ll be performing, we also have our Chamber Orchestra that’s going to be performing, as well as there’s members of our bands will be performing as well. So there’s over 100 students involved in this.”
This year’s King and Queens of the show are seniors Nicholas Ingamelis and Maddie Hamilton. Both Ingamelis and Hamilton are members of the Oskaloosa High School Chamber Choir and the Madrigal Troop Choir. Hamilton said it means everything for her to be able to play the role of the Queen, especially alongside some of her best friends. Hamilton’s grandmother passed away this summer and she said before she passed, she enjoyed coming to the Madrigal Dessert Theater each year.
“It means everything, I love choir so much, Hamilton said. “I’ve basically grown up in the program and it’s been so much fun and to get to lead some of my best friends through Madrigal. Having Ingamelis, another best friend of mine by my side also. My grandma, she always said she loved coming to these things and yeah, it means a lot.”
Although Ingamelis is nervous about the performance this weekend, he said he is excited to finally play the role of the King after standing in the back for so long years before. Ingamelis is also looking forward to the opportunity of speaking with previous Kings that will be in attendance of this weekend’s show.
“I guess it’s just really exciting, like the chance to be the King after standing in the back rows so many times watching the king in front of me as we performed,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to like speaking with the previous kings after the performance, but during the performance, I am really looking forward to the skit. I really enjoy the skit that we do. “
There will be three showings of the Madrigal Dessert Theater this year, beginning with two on Saturday, Dec. 14 with one at 4 p.m. and another at 7:30 p.m. The third showing will be Sunday, Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. All showing will be held in the large gym at Oskaloosa Middle School and the cost is $20.
This is the largest fundraiser that the high school music department does and the monies raised will go towards new robes for the choir and it’ll assist with the costs of an orchestra and choir trip to Chicago that happens yearly. Tickets for the Madrigal Dessert Theater can be purchased at Brown’s Shoe Fit, or you can purchase a ticket at the door the day of the event.