Madrigal Dinner takes students back in time

Kristina Thomas, Feature Writer
December 9, 2012
Filed under Wright Life

The Madrigal Dinner is a celebration that students and community members can attend to experience a part of history. It was first brought to WSU in 1974. After being inactive for quite some time, it began again in 1983. Wright State’s Student Union, department of music and Dining Services are the driving force behind the event. Thirteen thousand people attend annually, and the event is held Dec. 13 through Dec. 16. Pricing depends upon seating; the front and center is about $50 and far back is about $35.

“When you step into the Apollo Room, you won’t believe the transformation,” Pam Davis, Business Manager of Student Affairs, said. “This event is special not only because of the huge historical aspect, but when you talk about budget reduction this won’t be on the books. The college deans will reserve a table and invite donors. They bring in big community members. Raj Soin and Boonshoft have both been present before.”

According to Davis, the Madrigal Dinner changes each year to represent a different year in medieval times. From the lords to the ladies, to the puppeteer to the jester, everyone involved works hard to make this event special.

“The Madrigal Dinner has mostly changed in location and space,” Davis said. “In the old Student Union we only had 198 seats a night and we had a waiting list, it would sell out every year, but in the year 2000 we moved to the Apollo Room and expected to sell out and didn’t. When the next year came around we expected nobody to really show and we were shocked, we sold out. It showed that the Madrigal dinner meant something to people in the community, they wanted to be here it brought families together and our ticket sales have never been higher since then.”

“When the food is being served the dancers present the Bread first to the head table and so on. There is even a bore head with an apple in its mouth,” Davis said. “At the head table you’ve got a mixture of characters from the lord Bill Rickert, two Ladies Amy Vaubel and Kate McEwen and Tim Tumbusch, who’ve all been doing these parts for years. The audience will enjoy the dancers and the long trumpets. This is a community event. It’s just fun visibly and behind the scenes.”

For music students this is part of the curriculum and for faculty they use it for recruitment, also extra scholarships may be awarded to students who helped with this event.

According to Davis there will also be a performance of the “12 Days of Christmas” with audience participation.

“This is the best show at WSU and the longest standing tradition,” Davis said. “Students should go to this event because it gets you in the mood for the holiday season. When you start to think about what it takes to put something like this together it’s special and pretty phenomenal.”

For more information and to order tickets visit www.wright.edu/events/madrigal.

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