Madrigal Singers unravel a murder mystery

October 13, 2008

The evening begins as a celebration in honor of an engaged couple, with royal guests in attendance. But then, the lights go down and something goes wrong. A guest is dead and everyone is a suspect.

For this year’s performance of the Madrigal Singers, McDaniel College’s premier vocal ensemble, the theme is, “A Renaissance English Manor Murder Mystery.”

It is the group’s fourth annual Madrigal Feast, and is scheduled at 6 p.m. Nov. 1 in Decker Center Forum.

The performance, which is loosely modeled after the game, “Clue,” is open to the public. Tickets are $30. For more information, call 410-857-2599.

“Every year, we try to make the music and the time it comes from very real and very interesting to people,” said Nadine Heron ’10, one of the Madrigal singers. “It’s about that human connection we have to music through history.”

The evening’s music, food and atmosphere will evoke the feeling of a late autumn/early winter British manor. The program includes Renaissance madrigals, mostly in English, and subjects will range from love to despair.

“Significant audience participation” is encouraged, according to Margaret Boudreaux, professor of music and director of choral activities.

Under Boudreaux’s direction, the Madrigal Singers will premiere a new edition of John Dowland's lute song, "Come Again, Sweet Love," edited by McDaniel student Justine Koontz.

In addition to their ensemble performances, the men and women will perform separately. The men will sing a new and comical piece, "We Are the Men," by local composer John Meyer.

This year's Madrigal Singers are: Matthew Albertson ‘12, Colleen Alford ‘10, Leah Beck ‘09, Sarah Brackbill ‘09, Alexander Dennis ‘09, Richard Esposito ‘11, Sara Groveman ‘10, Anne Hebert ‘10, Nadine Heron ‘10, Leslie Higgins ‘11, Charlie Im ‘12, Kathleen Levendusky ‘11, Amber Maurer ‘09, Jeneice Shaw ‘11, and Josh Vyskocil ‘10.

The Madrigal Singers are selected from the membership of the College Choir. They perform exclusively unaccompanied vocal music, primarily Renaissance madrigals, as well as a variety of world music. They have performed in several states at conferences of professional organizations, including the College Music Society and the Maryland Music Educators.

In recent years, they have performed at the Hartt School of Music, at a special presentation for the Discovery Channel at the MCI center, and at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C.