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Madrigal Feast Returns to Blowing Rock Dec. 5-6

The Jester and King Arthur

Dec. 2, 2014. Blood! Tears! Romance! And a dagger! The Choir of St. Mary of the Hills in Blowing Rock requests the pleasure of your company at the legendary musical and gastronomic treat, “The Revels of Winter.” With four courses of magnificent medieval-style food and drink provided by Gideon Ridge Inn, madrigals and carols sung by the costumed choir as they serve spirits and comestibles, and original (occasionally bawdy) entertainment written and performed by the jester and wench, the evening promises to be one of general amusement and high revelry.

The entertainment will be held in the Parish hall of the church, transformed for the evening into a Renaissance baronial hall, and this year is offered on Friday and Saturday nights, Dec. 5 and 6, at 6:30 p.m. each evening. Tickets are $70 per person. For reservations, please call the church at 828-295-7323. You may pay by credit card or check made payable to St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church. The church is at the corner of Main Street and Chestnut Road in Blowing Rock.

“The Revels of Winter” is the primary fundraiser for the St. Mary of the Hills Choir study trip to the United Kingdom. This yer, the group will return for the third time as choir-in-residence at Durham Cathedral in England. In other years, the choir has studied with the foremost directors of Angelican choral music working in Cambridge, including George Guest at St. John’s College.

They have also sung at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin in New York City, and have represented the state of North Carolina at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Several former student choir members have gone on to careers as professional singers in opera, and in major church and cathedral choirs around the country.

The choir has recorded two CDs, O Sapientia, a collection of music for Advent, and the Revels of Winter, taken from the music you will hear at the Madrigal Feast. Although the group has performed many times with various chamber orchestras, its focus remains unaccompanied singing, and its heart is regular Sunday morning worship and monthly choral evensong in the ancient monastic tradition.