During the Middle Ages and continuing well into the Renaissance,
the holiday season was a time when guests traveled great distances
to the castles of wealthy friends and family members to feast,
dance and exchange news in a celebration that lasted several
days. After the rigorous fast of the Advent season, elaborate
preparations were made to ensure a truly festive event.
The banquet at Christmas, as on other great holidays, was
not an isolated meal, but rather a series of celebrations
filled with pageantry and circumstance. After prayers in chapel
or at the table, trumpet fanfares signaled the service of
specific courses and dishes within the feast. Guests danced,
told stories, and sang in enthusiastic outbursts of merrymaking.
Since 1983, the annual Madrigal Dinner, produced each December
by the Wright State University Student Union with the Department
of Music, has provided the greater Dayton community with a
musical and dramatic interpretation of these fabulous medieval
ceremonial feasts. What began as a single performance has
become an established tradition that spans four evenings and
entertains over 1,300 guests.
So, come one, come all, and enjoy traditional
English fare, amidst the antics of jesters and manorfolk,
dancing and revelry, the Puppet Master, and the wonderfully
interwoven lines of the madrigal song. See the Student Union
Apollo Room transformed into the Great Hall of Wright Manor
where guests are treated to the voices of the Wright State
Chamber Singers, medieval dances choreographed by the Tudor
Rose Performing Troupe, and the music of Wind in the Woods
Early Music Ensemble.