Students prepare for upcoming Madrigal dinners, ready to bring joyful festivities to their honored guests

Family and friends will gather at the Northminster Presbyterian Church to support the Ames High Madrigal production Nov. 30, Dec. 1 and 2. In preparation for the music, dinner, and play, students have been practicing intensely. With the help of choir director Steve Linn and student play directors seniors Jon Link, Ann Charlotte Wade, and Eric Foley, this year’s cast has high hopes of entertaining the full house audience Madrigal typically attracts. The production will start at 7 p.m. with a full course meal. During the first course, the madrigal court will start singing. As the evening progresses, the singers will be interrupted by the play. This year, the play is A Tale of Two Kiddies: Handel and Gretzky. The play is loosely based on the story of Hansel and Gretel. The madrigal cast includes senior Chris Simmonson as King, senior Jennifer Compton as Queen, senior Ethan Forsgren as Lord, and senior Jessica Oster as Lady. 24 others participate as the choir members. There are also eleven instrumentalists. In preparation for the madrigal dinner, the cast devotes 45-minute practices every week morning, and a two-hour practice on Monday night. Communication between members is a large part of what the group practices. “Because there is no director in the group during the performance we really have to focus on cut offs and our rhythm,” senior Emily Falk said. “We always have to watch each other during the performance.” Students are also sharpening up their vocals. Yes, the madrigal students have amazing voices, however, they still need to practice. “It’s good to be able to see everyone else during the performance just in case you forget the words, but we’re pretty good,” senior Jacob Pleasants said. The Madrigal play cast is also practicing rigorously for the upcoming performance. Although the directors bought the play, they severely edited it to suit their own likings. The play is easily identifiable as Hansel and Gretel, yet, there are also some extremely assuming parts added in to make the play more humorous. “It takes a lot of time but its worth it work with such fun and funny people on a fun and funny play,” Link said. No one will want to miss this year’s Madrigal production unless one wants to miss out on an enjoyable evening with rich, filling food and a genuinely talented cast of Ames High students. [Editor’s note: tickets for the Madrigal dinner are $20 each. Contact senior Jennifer Compton for information.]