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Kaneland High School Madrigal Feaste to celebrate landmark year

'It is pretty magical in that effect'

MAPLE PARK – This year marks the grand Kaneland High School Madrigal Feaste’s 40th anniversary.

Bryan Kunstman, choir director and department chair of the fine arts department at Kaneland High School, is leading the Madrigal Singers.

Kunstman called this year’s events a big landmark.

“What’s going to make it great this year is kind of the same as all years – wonderful students, some really cool music and a lot of positive things to look forward to,” Kunstman said. “So, very similar to past years. But this year being the 40th year is probably the biggest one.”

Kunstman confirmed that all grades will be a part of the production. However, the lead roles include 31 Madrigal Singers that are sophomore through senior students.

There will be around 100 total students participating from singers to musicians.

Kunstman said that the group will sing 27 songs. Songs will be sung in English, Latin and German.

Attendees can expect familiar tunes like “Silent Night” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” More performances include “Je Suis Deshéritée,” “Locus Iste,” “Audivi Vocem de Caelorum,” “Infant Joy” and “Stille Nacht.”

Brass instruments like trumpets, trombones, French horns and tuba will add their flair.

Singers will wear their Renaissance-style clothing from long gowns to floppy hats to short pants and tights.

Lydia Kasap, a senior, plays the jester.

She wears the hat and curved gold shoes. One of her eyes will be painted with a sparkling maroon diamond.

“As like the beginning of the speech says — we’re being taken back in time,” Kasap said. “And being with these people, it’s like we are being put back into the Renaissance era. So, it is pretty magical in that effect.”

The cafeteria will be lit with candles, stage lights and adorned with red and white poinsettias.

Food will vary, but there will be chicken cordon bleu, beef, rice pilaf, potatoes, Christmas cookies and red velvet cake.

Dr. Nancy Whereatt (Magnuson), a Sugar Grove resident, plans to make this year’s Madrigal Feaste her second year to attend.

“It was magical,” Magnuson said. “Honestly, I could not believe that they transformed the Kaneland cafeteria into a castle banquet hall. … It’s amazing how good these kids are. Each song has anywhere from three to five different harmonies.”

Jennifer Simmons, an Elburn resident, is the president of the Performing Arts Boosters for Kaneland High School and Kaneland Harter Middle School.

This year will mark her sixth year attending the Madrigal Feaste. Simmons said that it’s a lot of families and the community that comes to the Madrigal Feaste. She added that it brings Kaneland together.

Tickets cost $25 per person. For information, visit

Performances will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 8 and 9 and 2 p.m. Dec. 9 and 10 at the Kaneland High School cafeteria, 47W326 Keslinger Road, Maple Park.

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