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TTU News

The Cookeville Towne Centre will be transformed into a banquet hall reminiscent of "Merry Olde England" when Tennessee Tech University hosts its Third Annual Madrigal Feaste on Friday and Saturday, April 25 and 26.

Guests at the event will be seated at 6:30 p.m., and the opening dinner procession of servers dressed in Renaissance costumes will begin at 7 p.m.

" One of the highlights of this year's feaste is a comical morality play entitled Noah and Joan of Ark," said Susan Smith, director of TTU's Madrigal Singers. "Morality plays are characteristically very serious productions, but this one is unusual because it's quite hilarious."

Dinner will be provided by Cookeville's Grade A Catering, Smith said, and in addition to the play, other entertainment for the evening will include the hijinks of jesters, the skill of fencers and, of course, the talent of many singers performing madrigals.
But what exactly is a madrigal? The term refers to a song composed for a small group of singers and is usually without instrumental accompaniment, Smith explains.

" Most often composed for four, five or six voices, each melodic part of a madrigal piece moves independently of the others, yet together the parts form a harmonious unit. There is considerable variety in song texts. Romance, unrequited loves, pastoral settings, dance, the human condition — all are themes found in madrigals," she said.

The madrigal, which originated in Italy, was most popular in Europe during the late 16th and early 17th centuries.

Tickets for the TTU event must be purchased in advance and are available in Rooms 355, 365 and 362 of the Bryan Fine Arts Building, the Joy of Music on the Cookeville Square and Charlie’s Sub Shop.

Prices are $25 for adults and $20 for students. The cost of unused tickets cannot be refunded. Proceeds benefit choral activities, such as school outreach programs and conference travel.

For more information about the event, call Smith at 372-3650.