MARSHALL - From the traditional "Carol of the Bells" to an original number written by one of the students, the choir students at Marshall High School ran an informal presentation of their Madrigal dinner performances on Friday morning.
The annual Marshall High School Madrigal dinner will be at 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Dec. 7-8, and 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, in the MHS cafeteria. A dozen choral ensembles and several instrumental groups and the brass choir will perform at the event.
The Madrigal dinner is put on by MHS juniors and seniors in the music program. For the choir students, participating in Madrigal counts for part of their grade, said Curtis Linz. It's a daunting, but enjoyable assignment, he added.
Photo by Cindy Votruba
Marshall High School students Jeff Dorman, Jeff Paskach, Danny West and Ryan Schultz perform Paskach’s song “Gift of Love” Friday morning in preparation for next week’s Madrigal dinner.
"It can get a little stressful," Linz said. "You've gotta try and memorize everything. But it's fun."
"It's a little intimidating singing in front of your whole choir, it's a little scary," Lauren Weber said.
The Madrigal dinner is all student-run, Linz said, as they choose the music, figure out the parts and rehearse the songs.
"We have to find a song and they'll (the teachers) help us out with the notes," Weber said. Most of the songs the choir students are performing are a cappella.
The pieces the students perform are mainly Christmas and holiday-themed songs
"You might be hearing some jazzy stuff," Weber said.
And some of the music may be written by the students themselves. Last year, Jeff Paskach composed an original song for the Madrigal.
"And I had a lot of fun doing it," Paskach said. So this year he wrote the song "Gift of Love."
Paskach said he usually draws inspiration for his songwriting from all the different types of music he listens to.
Paskach is also part of a quartet that will perform "Holiday Road," which is best known from the movie "National Lampoon's Vacation."
"That's actually an arrangement by Tonic Sol Fa," Paskach said about the version being performed at the upcoming Madrigal. He said they all learned how to perform it just by listening to the song itself and figuring out the parts.
MHS choir teacher Caroline Przymus said she'll usually open up a huge bucket of holiday music the students can choose from, but lately kids have found other sources.
"With the Internet, it has been more fun for the kids," Przymus said. "We've been able to get a bigger variety."
It's fun to see the students' creativity, Przymus said, which includes having them arrange, or even write, songs.
"And I encourage that," Przymus said.
Linz said it gets a lot more exciting as he and his fellow music students get closer to the upcoming Madrigal performances.
"It's going to be interesting to see how it comes out," Weber said.