College celebrates season with Madrigal dinner

first_imgSaint Mary’s Music Department will usher in the Christmas season this weekend with its 39th annual Madrigal dinner, a medieval-themed feast and musical performance. Junior Toni Marsteller, who scripted and directed the performance and is cast as the Wench, said the theatrics and music are interwoven in the meal rather than preceding or following it. “[The dinner features] Renaissance and medieval-style music, and there are actors who provide a little comedy throughout the dinner,” she said. Music professor Nancy Menk, who will direct the Madrigal for the 28th time, said the choir performances will include a combination of traditional songs with a few fresh selections. “Some songs are standards,” Menk said. “We always sing the Wassail Song when we bring out the Wassail bowl, we always sing ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas,’ and each year I try to add one or two new songs.” First year Katie Corbett plays the role of the Jester, who taunts the other characters throughout the performance. “I’m an acting major, so I read for the Jester role, and it sounded really funny,” she said. “I’m really excited, but I’m also a little nervous. I hope everyone enjoys the show.” Corbett’s Jester conspires with junior Sophie Korson’s character, the Cook, to play tricks on the Wench. Korson, who has never participated in the Madrigal dinner before, said she decided to take part simply for the fun of it. “It sounded like fun, and I was open to trying it out,” she said. Sophomore Lauren Murphy, a member of the Women’s Choir performing at the dinner, said the performance helps spread the Christmas cheer around campus. “I like dressing up and getting into character,” she said. “The show really helps set the tone for the Christmas season.” Over her nearly three decades at the helm of the Madrigal, Wenk said the tradition has evolved significantly. “Before my time, they actually stopped the show and did an opera right in the middle of the show,” she said. “One of the major changes was to change from a co-ed to an all-women’s choir, about seven or eight years ago, to better represent Saint Mary’s College.” Menk said she is amazed by the transformative effect the show has on Regina Hall, where it is presented. “The girls look so beautiful in their dresses and the room looks amazing,” she said. “By the time we’re done with it, it’s amazing to think it’s just a dorm lounge.” The Madrigal dinner will be celebrated Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.last_img read more

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Tomato communication

first_imgBy Wayne McLaurinUniversity of GeorgiaIn your garden, you need to get inside the mind of a tomato.No, I’m not crazy. Tomatoes really do think. Well, OK, “respond”might be a better term.Take, for instance, when the tomato is young. Just planted, withsnug roots down in nice, rich soil, plenty of food for growth andnothing to do but just stretch those cells, make chlorophyll andenjoy itself, the tomato is much like a baby. It inches up,extending its roots and growing branches and leaves, then moreleaves. Tomato care tipsWhat can you do if you can’t think like a tomato? Just followthese directions (that a tomato “told” me):1. Fertilize and lime according to soil-test recommendations. Usea fertilizer with a 1-2-3 or 1-2-2 analysis (5-10-15, 1-2-2 or 6-12-12, for instance). Avoid, at all cost, using a 1-1-1 analysis,such as 10-10-10 or 13-13-13.2. Water as needed, usually about 1 inch per week. Don’t wet thefoliage — this causes diseases.3. Side-dress tomatoes only after fruit set and never whilethey’re blooming. It’s best to side-dress when the fruits areabout the size of a dime. This will allow for proper growth andfruiting for the next flowering structure.If you talk with your tomatoes, they may tell you,”More than 100 diseases and insects attack us. So please don’tcomplicate our lives with extra fertilizer and overtax our’thinking’ processes.” Fertilizer shockAlmost at once the plant is thrown into confusion. This happytomato that was basking in the warm sun just a few minutes ago,with no cares in the world, is jolted back into anotherphysiological process it didn’t really want.All of its sensors, all of its “mental” processes, now tell itmore fertilizer is present, especially nitrogen, and it needs tothrow off the fruit it has set and grow more foliage. Theobedient plant responds and drops the fruits.The gardener goes out the next day and looks for the flowers thatwere there yesterday, can’t find them and calls the nearestcounty agent.Well, I get the call from the county agent. That’s when I “getinto the mind of the tomato.” What went wrong from the tomato’sperspective?center_img Tomatoes go through growing stagesAfter going through these juvenile growing pains, it becomes astrong, healthy plant and turns to reproducing its own kind. Itsample leaf area can support reproductive structures (tomatofruits).Now, at its peak, it sends out the flower structures. The flowersdevelop, open up for only one day and are pollinated by the wind.The plant sets fruits, knowing all systems are functioning fully,thinking all along just how happy it is in the sunshine.Along comes a heavy-handed gardener with the fertilizer bag. Youknow what happens. The gardener sees the plant’s flowers andinitial tiny tomatoes and, thinking it needs feeding at thisreproductive time, dumps a generous amount of fertilizer at thebase of the plant.last_img read more

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