Joud Bayeh | Collegio Reporter
A small organ on wheels, musicians and singers from PSU and food served by medieval peasants wearing feathered hats combined to create an aura of the Renaissance at the Madrigal Dinner on Friday, Nov. 30. The Madrigal Dinner is held annually by the PSU choir, and many guests, like Russ Vallier, have attended for several years.
Vallier, a high school teacher in Chanute, says this was the fourth year in a row he has attended the dinner. He says one of the reasons he comes back is the food.
“It’s a tasteful way to start the holidays,” said Vallier, who was accompanied by his wife, Karen.
They are the parents of Taylor Vallier, junior in biology and one of the singers at the dinner.
The artists themselves were also dressed in Renaissance garb, and they serenaded the guests with a mix of contemporary musical arrangements, albeit with old Latin lyrics, classical English pieces and traditional Christmas songs.
The chants in Latin completed the desired environment intended to paint a picture of Renaissance times.
Bryce Alan Henson says he enjoyed the entire affair.
“The food was high-quality,” said Henson, freshman in music education. “But the biggest attraction was the good music.”
Susan Marchant, director of the PSU choir, says most of the people who attended were part of the Pittsburg community or from surrounding cities. Marchant was responsible for organizing the dinner, and she was seen everywhere, leading presentations around the room and the choir onstage throughout the nearly three-hour event.
“People simply love the choir program and what Marchant has been doing for it,” Henson said. “She has been improving it and making it greater.”
Steve Scott, PSU president, says he has been attending the event for several years, and it never disappoints him.
“Cathy and I love live music, even more because our students are amazing players,” Scott said. “It’s a really special event.”
Even though the tickets cost $28, Marchant says they were sold out days before the event. She says part of the success is due to the previous Madrigal Dinners.
Freda Van says she came from Waco, Mo., for her second Madrigal Dinner.
“I enjoyed it very much last year and that’s why I came back,” said Van, who is retired. “It doesn’t matter what they’re going to play, I am going to love it.”
Elwyn Davis, retired PSU math professor, says he has attended the event for the last three years.
“I always like to honor the music events of PSU,” Davis said. “It’s always a different experience. That’s why I’ll definitely come back next year.”