Seasons of Madrigals

Becca Meyer-Rasmussen, Staff Writer

The dreams of 18 soon to be seniors came true last April when the names of 2019-2020 Madrigals were released. “I knew I wanted to be in Madrigals since I was a kid,” Jenna Dykstra ‘20 said.

The process in finding the right group of students for this choir starts early. Auditions were held during the spring of 2019. This process is intense to insure that the ones who make the cut are dedicated. Many say the most difficult part of the audition is the piece that they are given only 24 hours in advance. “It’s hard to learn any type of music that quickly and doing it for an audition is even more stressful,” Riley Rapp ‘20 said. 

During the summer the students don’t need to do much in preparation. The same cannot be said for the Musical Director Dr. Borst, who spends 30 to 40 hours in August finding the right music for this group. “I spend a lot of time deciding what music will best fit this personality, because every Madrigals has a little different personality year-to-year,” Borst said. Also, due to the high level of music that this group is able to perform it is imperative to find the right balance of songs that both push the singers and can grab the attention of the audience. 

Once the students finally arrive at school in the Fall, they come ready to learn and grow as singers. This is when the real preparation begins for the holidays. “The hardest part is making the transition from working on paper and reading the music in class to singing it completely memorized,” Hunter Converse ‘20 said. They have between 10 and 15 holiday songs that they need to have memorized for their concerts. Some students have already made some changes to their lives to do better in this class. “I take my health a lot more seriously because it is hard to come back from being sick. I also drink a lot more water,” Matt Huffman ‘20 said. These changes can be essential to the success in this class. 

When winter finally arrives and the first show is coming up, mixed emotions of excitement and nervousness fills the air. Although all the singers are confident in their preparation leading up to this point, there is always some nervousness before they go on stage. On the morning of a show, “I make sure to eat enough and I try my best not to get sick,” Converse ‘20 said. This attention to detail is crucial on an important day like this where every member is needed. Madrigals also spend a significant amount of time during their class to get adequately warmed up. When night arrives and finally the time comes for these students to get into costume and do one final warm up, they feel ready . “The rest of the night we spend having a lot of fun on and off the stage. Then after the show we all go to Spoonlickers which is a fun Madrigals Tradition!” Rapp ‘20 said. The day filled with tedious preparation and performance happens at least 15 times throughout the holiday season. As the season comes to a close the next phase for Madrigals only just begins. 

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