Saint 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.
Submit Related Articles Share William Hill accelerates transformation agenda to overcome COVID realities August 5, 2020 StumbleUpon SBC Magazine Issue 10: Kaizen Gaming rebrand and focus for William Hill CEO August 25, 2020 Share Carolyn Harris: Banning gambling sponsorships ‘one of the most obvious things to do’ July 14, 2020 William Hill’s partnership with charity The Alzheimer’s Society has drawn criticism from MPs and health practitioners stating that betting should hold no connection with dementia, according to a report in The Times.Last spring, a newly relaunched ‘William Hill Foundation’ announced The Alzheimer’s Society as a lead partner seeking to raise the charity £2 million over a three-year period.Helping the partnership as a part of its ‘Nobody Harmed’ social responsibility corporate directive, William Hill would launch an Alzheimer’s awareness campaign fronted by brand ambassador Robbie Savage.In its 2020 corporate guidance, the FTSE bookmaker underlined that it seeks to become a leading UK dementia-friendly business organisation.“We are working with the Alzheimer’s Society to become the leading Dementia Friendly business in our industry, helping those with dementia to sustain their normal activities for as long as possible, such as visiting their local betting shop, while minimising at-risk behaviours.” – William Hill stated in its 2019 company report.Leading the NHS National Problem Gambling Clinic, Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones branded the partnership as inappropriate and insensitive to dementia sufferers.“The notion that a person suffering from this should be encouraged to gamble responsibly is ludicrous and from a safeguarding perspective of grave concern,” Bowden-Jones told The Times.Supporting Bowden-Jones’ criticism, Carolyn Harris MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling Related Harm, would brand the William Hill’s collaboration as a ‘dreadful idea’.Harris, who is recognised as the prominent figurehead pushing for wholesale industry reforms, stated that it was inconceivable for a mental health charity to believe that betting shops are ‘appropriate place for dementia patients’.“This is exploitation of the most vulnerable,” Harris said. “Many will be seeking company and to suggest that the bookies is where they will be welcomed and safe beggars’ belief.”An under-fire Alzheimer’s Society maintains that beyond vital fundraising its collaboration with the William Hill Foundation has focused on support and staff training, being able to recognise and protect the sufferers of dementia and related diseases.Alex Hyde-Smith of the Alzheimer’s Society responded: “People with dementia tell us that they want to continue doing the things they enjoy and stay involved in their communities. As a charity, we have a duty to respond by influencing the betting agenda through education and awareness.“The point of and benefit of this partnership is to provide the support and training its staff need to deliver the right environment and protections so the 850,000 people living with dementia can enjoy themselves, safely, protected from the threat of financial harm.”