Madrigal singers prep for Christmas concert

Emily Kline, Staff Writer

Filling the basement with melodious harmonies on Thursday mornings, the Madrigal singers bring traditional women’s choral music to life with the assistance of their director, Mr. Jere Lantz. Now in their sixth year, the singers tackle bigger challenges than ever in preparation for their Christmas concert performances.

The name of the group stems from the type of music they sing: ‘madrigals,’ meaning Renaissance-era songs for treble voices, which consist of three or more parts. “[The singers] learn about refined singing technique. They learn how to blend chords in tune—which is not easy—and they also learn different musical styles,” said Mr. Lantz.

Through this challenging music, students also learn how to better themselves as artists. “I sing first soprano, so for me, singing the higher parts and working on increasing my range [is important]. To be cast in shows and [be a] part of choirs, you have to hold your own in parts,” said sophomore Lexi Johnson.

For this year’s choir and orchestra concerts, the Madrigal singers will perform “A Ceremony of Carols” by Benjamin Britten, which stands as one of the most demanding pieces written for trebles. “It was written during WWII, and it’s all based on medieval words. The accompanist for the performances will be a harp player,” said Mr. Lantz.

Despite the challenges posed by this work, which the group also performed two years ago, the singers enjoy the practice and eagerly await the concerts. “I love performing, and I’m excited to show off our talents,” said freshman Stephanie Galvin.

In addition to the beautiful music they sing, the community of singers itself helps each other to excel as a group and to grow as musicians. “There’s never one voice sticking out; we’re all blending and working together. We’re all there because we want to be there, because it’s so much fun and because we get to learn different styles. We all benefit from being in that group,” said senior Peggy Renier.

Performing Dec. 13 and 15, the Madrigal singers bring classic music to a new level, just in time to be enjoyed for the holiday season. “I love to show people how cool it is to have women singing together and how much we can blend together and share our gift of music,” said Renier.