By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
For 34 years, Tupelo High School’s Madrigals have invited people to experience an Old World Christmas with songs that go back hundreds of years.
The 2009 Singe Feaste will run from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 at All Saints’ Episcopal Church. You’ll hear religious and secular songs that have been performed in castles and keeps from England to Italy.
“Back in the day, people would gather and sing together during the holidays,” said Alisa Wood, an 18-year-old senior. “They didn’t have television or anything. They entertained themselves.”
They also challenged themselves. The songs aren’t easy to perform, and that’s part of the fun.
“I love Madrigals. I love the small group singing,” Wood said, “and learning the really difficult music and hearing it come together.”
Wood and Will Collins, a 17-year-old senior, picked “O Magnum Mysterium” as one of their favorites.
“It’s very hard,” Collins said. “It’s the hardest song I’ve ever done.”
“Every part has a melody,” Wood added. “It’s great when all the parts come together. It’s a really neat song.”
Other songs include “Pastyme with Good Company,” “The Boar’s Head Carol,” “Wassail Song,” “Carol of the Bells” and “Sing We Noel, Noel.”
All of them are performed a cappella, though THS’ Debbie Bullock will provide piano interludes during the Singe Feaste. When the Madrigals sing, you’ll hear Latin, French, English and German.
“And Old English, which is like another language,” Collins said.
More than music
As the name implies, music is only part of the Singe Feaste. Blair Hughes and Park Heights will cater the event.
The menu features Mixed Greens with Walnuts, Parmesan and Pear Vinaigrette, Roasted Chicken with Crushed New Potatoes, Green Beans and Sauce “Chasseur,” and Warm Bread Pudding with Creme Anglaise and Caramel.
To set the mood, All Saints’ will be transformed.
“You really do feel like you’re walking into a different time period,” Wood said. “We set it up with trees and lights.”
“It’s kind of dark,” Collins added. “It’s a calm setting, very relaxing.”
The Singe Feaste in Tupelo goes back more than three decades, and its origins can be traced back hundreds of years. It’s your chance to connect to Christmases past.
“We get to be the lords and ladies. You’re our special guests,” Wood said, “and we’re here to sing for you.”
Contact M. Scott Morris at (662) 678-1589 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to go?
The Tupelo High School Madrigals will present the 34th annual Singe Feaste at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30; Tuesday, Dec. 1; and Wednesday, Dec. 2 in the fellowship hall of All Saints’ Episcopal Church. Tickets are $20. For reservations and ticket information, (662) 844-4262.