Good day to you. It is drizzling cold rain outside and as a matter of fact, the children had a two our delay from school this morning because of icy conditions…… and, it was quite the morning, let me tell you. There was a flurry of activity as the children did their best to enjoy the extra hours. They are now gone to school and Sarah is playing in her room, so I have a few moments to give a report on the Madrigal Feast.
The music director at our local High School has put on a weekend of Madrigal Feasts for the last 28 years. Grace was involved for the first time last year, as a Freshman, and I was so impressed by it that this year I bought tickets for Rich and I, plus Grace’s six siblings. The tickets were 15 dollars a piece and the kids perform three times over the weekend to a packed house. It is a great fundraiser for the music program, and they also donate money to a local charity. The first two Feasts were in the evenings. Rich and I went on the third day, Sunday afternoon, to avoid having the children out late.
On Sunday afternoon, while Rich (I love him) conveniently fell asleep and took a nap on the couch, I got the four younger children looking presentable.
Here is darling Sarah, all dressed up in her little dress, white tights, matching shoes, and itchy hair band.
After the 10 minute drive to school in the backseat with her brothers, she looked like this:
I mean, you just have to laugh, right? I took the itchy hair band off the poor girl and then everything was fine.
When we arrived at the door to the cafeteria, where the feast took place, we told the doorman our name and they called out in a loud fanfare, “The ‘Smith’ Party has arrived!” (only they used the correct last name; our last name is not Smith, by the way) and in we marched through two columns of choir children, to our assigned table.
We each had a name card at our place, where a salad and fruit plate were waiting for us. I sat in between Seth and Caleb. Seth did everything in his chair but stand on his head, but it was nice for the most part. David became cold and had no coat. Jacob kept making eyes at his girlfriend.
Grace and the rest of the choir were singing up front all during the salad course. I felt shy, so I asked if one of the children could walk up to take a nice picture. Seth was the only volunteer. Thank you, Seth!
When the singers filed past our table I took a quick picture of Grace, using the flash. LOL Ethan.
There was a wonderful song all about wassail. Every member of our table asked me what wassail was, including my husband, who was in attendance last year and should have remembered that it is a nonalcoholic hot cider drink served in a punch bowl.
Seth had three glasses of wassail and two full glasses of water, consequently he had to use the bathroom several times and was also too full to eat his feast.
The number of wonderful songs being sung one after another were like a lullaby to Sarah.
We ate chicken, stuffing, a baked potato, bread, and mixed vegetables. For dessert there was chocolate cake with cherries and whipped cream. As we ate, the choir performed beautiful songs, skits, dances, and jokes for our entertainment. There was a king and queen, a group of wenches, a jester, and so on….we were to imagine that we were in old time London.
In this picture, on the far left, you can see a door with a sign, “face painting”, which is where Seth was taken to sit and have his face painted like Spiderman (his choice).
Also, this is the picture I took during the final verse of “Silent Night”, when our Grace stood front and center to perform sign language.
There were many, many items raffled off. David had put tickets in several jars, trying to win things, but when he discovered that the winners had to go up front to claim their prize and perhaps do something embarrassing, he hoped and prayed he would NOT win. (he didn’t).
OVER TWO HOURS later, the feast was over. I had thoughtfully volunteered Rich to help tear down the sets so we hung around for another hour or so, until the cafeteria was a cafeteria again.
Mrs. Jones, the choir director (not her real name) is an AMAZING woman, so strong and capable, the children respect and adore her. She wrote a little poem about each and every senior and had it read in their honor…provoking tears from every mother’s eye. Grace is her assistant this year and she made sure to tell me how much she appreciates Grace and her work ethic.
I can’t begin to tell you all the little ways Mrs. Jones makes the feast special for everyone involved. It truly amazes me.
After the performance, every photographer took pictures of their children. 🙂
The yearly groups form a close bond and Grace was thrilled to see graduating students return to visit;
LOL Jacob (far right)
I took the little ones out to the hall and sat as they ran around, waiting for the clean up to be over.
I had to laugh by the end of the evening I had a huge stack of coats, purses, shoes, etc, in front of me on the table to “watch” for the kids……
Spiderman!! (make up remover wipes took it off just fine)
This was embarrassing. David, my magician, came to me with this plastic tie around his wrists and asked me to tighten it for him. Even though my inner motherly instincts were screaming “NO DON’T DO IT” I tightened it. “More than that, mom”. Okay, I tightened it more, as per his request. Well, he thought he could use magic to break free, but it never happened…..as he struggled, another mom came by to say hello to me, and to my horror, noticed Dave whose hands were turning an unnatural shade of pink, “Oh, that’s not good, David, you shouldn’t have that on your wrists.” “It’s MY MOM’S FAULT,” he replied, “She’s the one who did it.” Nice, Dave, nice. We finally found some scissors and Emily cut it off.
It was eventually time to leave and we all left like a herd, 10 of us, a big family full of never ending excitement, the stressful kind AND the good kind. Deep in my heart I appreciate each and every moment with these people.
We went home and decorated the tree (pictured in the previous blog entry).
a proper photo, by another parent
What a great program! It’s lovely to have a teacher who cares as much as “Mrs. Jones.” I had to laugh about Sarah and her itchy head band. The before and after pictures of her are hysterical! I sympathize, truly I do! Our Sianna who is almost Sarah’s twin is QUITE dramatic! We skyped with them today (they live in Siberia now) and she had a major meltdown about something. (I think it was because there were no more Princess band aids for her boo boo!) 🙂
It looks like a most lovely dinner but I had to laugh so very often at the kids!! I could totally imagine being there and dealing with it all. Keep fighting the good fight. 🙂
Your Madrigal Feast sounds like it was so much fun! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post. I had to LOL at poor Sarah and the itchy headband. It reminds me of those itchy polyester pant sets with the long sleeved shirts I was forced to wear when I was a child. 🙂
Beautiful photos. I enjoyed vicariously sharing your festive night at the Madrigal Feast!
We used to do a Madrigal dinner when I was in high school…I was a servant the 1st time….then I was a maitre’d the 2d time…so much fuuuuun!
Oh what a festive, full night you had. So lovely that Grace has such a wonderful group. She looks so pretty in her lovely gown. I am glad you got a before pic of your little princess, the after car ride photo was so funny. I am glad you could sooth her by taking off the itchy hairband.