Madrigal Dinners, a Christmas Tradition, Celebrates 41st Year

Saint Mary's College students performing at the Madrigal Dinners.
Saint Mary's College students performing at the Madrigal Dinners.
Gwen O’Brien

Director of Media Relations
Saint Mary's College
(574) 284-4579

November 7, 2013 (Notre Dame, Ind.)—The Saint Mary’s College Department of Music is proud to present its 41st annual Madrigal Dinners, a Renaissance-style holiday banquet and performance celebration. The merry feast includes entertainment provided by colorfully attired singers, actors, dancers, instrumentalists, jugglers, a jester, and a lord of the manor. Performances will be held in the North Lounge of Regina Hall December 6-8. Ticket information is available at or by calling the box office (574) 284-4626.

Many of the elements of the annual performance were freshened up last year in celebration of the 40th anniversary, including the script, choreography, costumes, the set, and some songs. Students and faculty conducted research to make sure the enhancements were in keeping with the historical era. Together these additions provide an exciting look to the Madrigal Dinners, yet preserve the spirit and tradition of the holiday celebration.

This is the 30th year that Nancy Menk, professor of music, director of choral activities, and the Mary Lou and Judd Leighton Chair in Music, has conducted the Madrigals.

“The atmosphere at the Madrigal Dinners is always so festive that it’s easy to see why so many continue to make this a part of their annual holiday celebrations. At every performance, when I step into the hall and see the beautiful candlelit setting and the looks of anticipation on our patrons' faces, I feel really proud of what we have offered to our community for 41 years,” Menk said.

Accompanying the entertainment is a holiday feast prepared by Dining Services (Sodexo). The meal includes prime rib (Cornish hen for the matinee), roasted potatoes, glazed carrots, Waldorf salad, wassail, and cheesecake with flaming cherries. Children and vegetarian menus are available upon request.

About Saint Mary’s College: Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., is a four-year, Catholic residential, women’s liberal arts college offering five bachelor’s degrees and more than 30 major areas of study, such as business, nursing, art, chemistry, and social work. The College’s single-gender environment has been proven, in study after study, to foster confidence, ethical leadership, and strong academic success. Saint Mary’s College ranks 76 among the 248 “Best National Liberal Arts Colleges” for 2014 published by U.S. News and World Report. Founded in 1844 by the Sisters of the Holy Cross, Saint Mary’s College’s mission is to educate women and prepare them for postgraduate success whether it’s a first job, graduate school, or postgraduate service.