Madrigal performers bring Christmas joy


Head Table performing on Sunday show

Madrigals, an a capella music style which includes laging, acting, yered voices and styles rooted in the 16th century, is an age-old tradition at Plainfield East. Every year, the PEHS art department combines singing and instrumentals to curate a magical Christmas experience.

Students are able to audition for one of the four ensembles featured in the show, Knight’s Chorus, Ladies in Waiting, Queen’s Court, and Head Table. Along with choral features, this interactive show includes two jesters, various acting roles, and a band of brass and recorders.

Choir director Ms. Grba said, “We look for students to demonstrate strong music literacy skills and aural skills. The greatest non-musical trait we look for is dedication. [Students] need to be invested in Madrigals and committed to participating in all rehearsals and performances.” 

This is something seniors Hayden Izumi and Sandy Mikhail had to take into consideration when auditioning for their roles as this year’s King and Queen. Both students take part in Head Table, a selective ensemble highlighted in the show, and they have been involved in Madrigals all four years. 

Mikhail said, “All of us really love music, that’s why anyone comes to Madrigals, whether it be the people performing or the audience. We come together to experience something that we don’t get to experience [nowadays], and we get to put on this amazing show.” 

Izumi feels the same; he said, “It’s wonderful to experience because I get to express my love and joy for music so I can either inspire people or just give happiness.”

The acting and food, this year which involved figgy pudding and wassail (a spiced ale from the 16th century), is what makes Madrigals the immersive experience it is. As the Head Table and Queen’s Court sing about their demands of figgy pudding, the Ladies in Waiting serve the warm dish to members of the audience. 

Choir director Miss K said, “While we have many different pieces and moving parts happening, the students have been doing a great job taking on their different responsibilities with the show. Also, we have some incredible parents who have helped us throughout this week and beyond.”

This Christmas experience plays a big role in the lives of anyone involved. Head Table and Queen’s Court meet throughout the school year, meaning its members build relationships with those around them. 

Izumi said, “We always look out for each other. It’s something that I don’t think a lot of people realize until you join.”

As Madrigals includes various roles and features many talents, there is something for everyone. This year’s shows were made up of almost 90 people, all of which held a major role. Anyone interested, is encouraged to audition. 

Miss K said, “Madrigals is something that is so special. It brings our performers together during the holiday season. Know that if you are interested in acting or singing, we have a place for you in our Madrigal program.”