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BHS a capella choir to host 12th annual Madrigal Dinner

The Renaissance-inspired show is set for Dec. 1-3 at Cragun's Legacy Clubhouse.

Students pose in Renaissance costumes.
Students in Brainerd High School windfall ensemble will perform at the 12th annual Madrigal Dinner Dec. 1-3 at Cragun's Legacy Clubhouse. Pictured: Back, from left — Levi Deuth, Ellie Jensen, Hannah Hayes, Micah Halbersma, Caleb Nelson, Emily Ehlert, Isaac Martin. Front, from left — Jada Klecatsky, Eric Eidenshink and Anna Tupy. Not pictured is Haddy Aker.
Theresa Bourke / Brainerd Dispatch
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BRAINERD — For an evening of festive music, entertaining court jesters, Renaissance fanfare and a feast fit for a king, look no further than the Brainerd High School a capella choir’s Madrigal Dinner.

The 12th annual event — halted only for COVID-19 in 2020 — is set for Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Dec. 1-3 at Cragun’s Legacy Clubhouse.

“We’re trying to recreate a Renaissance feast — like the king has invited the community in to celebrate the holiday,” Choir Director Brian Stubbs said.

Attendees of the three shows can expect a night chock full of entertainment and food, with choir students serving a full three-course dinner cooked by the staff at Cragun’s Resort and putting on a skit and concert for the audience.

“We bring out the food, and each course, there’s a brass fanfare, there’s a song about it,” Stubbs said. “Here comes the wassail toast, here comes the boar’s head, here comes the big flaming dessert.”

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After dinner is a masque — a Renaissance-era skit originally designed to entertain the king. This year’s masque is a spoof on “Cinderella.”

“It’s just full of corny, corny jokes and just something to get everyone laughing,” Stubbs said.

And after the skit comes the vocal performance, with a capella choir students surrounding the room and showcasing their talents. The a capella choir consists of about 60 students, who will put on a short concert with a couple pieces giving a nod to history, along with some familiar holiday tunes.

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As one of the choir's few fundraisers that allows the students to do what they do best, Stubbs said it’s a great opportunity for the kids to get out of their comfort zone and do something fun.

The 11-member windfall choir group will occupy the front of the room, donning regal costumes along with their performance.

It’s a show the windfall students said the community won’t want to miss, and one they’re looking forward to themselves as they create lasting memories with their classmates while getting to do one of the things they love.

This year’s show is the first one without masks since the COVID-19 pandemic and is sure to be entertaining for all, Stubbs said, as those who are hesitant to attend typically come back in future years.

“The people who are thinking it might be very highbrow and stuffy, have a lot of fun with how playful it is, how much comedy there is and how much laughter there is,” Stubbs said.

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Tickets for the show are $35 a piece and must be purchased at least 48 hours before each show so the proper amount of food can be prepared. Seating will be limited to 192 people for each performance.

If you go

Who: Brainerd High School a capella choir.

What: Madrigal Dinner.

Where: Cragun’s Legacy Clubhouse.

When: Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 1-3. Seating begins at 6:30 p.m. Dinner will start at 7 p.m.

How much: $35 per person.

Where to buy: Tickets are available at brainerdmusic.org and must be purchased at least 48 hours ahead of time.

THERESA BOURKE may be reached at theresa.bourke@brainerddispatch.com or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchTheresa.

Theresa Bourke started working at the Dispatch in July 2018, covering Brainerd city government and area education, including Brainerd Public Schools and Central Lakes College.
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