Madrigal Dinner a renaissance holiday hit again

Photo of Jim McCutcheon playing the Lute.

As regulars have come to expect, Jim McCutcheon pleased the crowd with his talented play of both the guitar and lute.

Wright State University’s Student Union Apollo Room was transformed into an English manor of the Renaissance era for the 29th annual Madrigal Dinner last week.

The Madrigal Dinner invited attendees to step back into a holiday celebration as it would have happened in the Middle Ages.

The evening began with a reception featuring wassail, a traditional hot, holiday drink.

After the reception, guests were summoned to the table by a fanfare and viewed the procession of the lords and ladies accompanied by the Wright State Chamber Singers.

Dinner followed the procession of the boar’s head, an ancient yuletide custom. Guests enjoyed a medieval feast of stuffed turkey breast, beef and leek pie, plum pudding and many other delicious dishes.

Entertainment wasprovided by lords and ladies, roving musicians, marionettes, singers, dancers and a court jester—all in full Renaissance attire.

Once again, Bill Rickert presided at the head table as “Lord of the Manor.”

“I haven’t missed a night in the last 27 years,” said Rickert, a recently retired associate provost and professor emeritus of communication. “It seems each one is better than the last.”

Music was directed by Drew Collins, assistant professor of music, and performed by the Wright State University Chamber Singers. Dancers and bearers are members of the Tudor Rose Dance Company, a group dedicated to recreating the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The early music ensemble Wind in the Woods was also performed.

The Madrigal Dinner, a Wright State tradition since 1983, is presented by the Student Union and Department of Music.

“For me, the Madrigal Dinner is both the start and the highlight of the Christmas season,” said Rickert.

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