A Madrigal Welcome, MRT’s Christmas Lullaby - Humboldt State Now

A Madrigal Welcome, MRT’s Christmas Lullaby

HSU Madrigal Singers go all a cappella and Mad River Transit jazz singers offer a contemporary Christmas Lullaby on Sunday, Dec. 6 in Fulkerson Recital Hall.

HSU Madrigal Singers and Mad River Transit perform on Sunday, Dec. 6 in Fulkerson Recital Hall.

Within their traditional program of mostly English madrigals (plus one surprise), new director Rachel Samet has challenged the Madrigal Singers in two ways: with a completely unaccompanied program, and with a step beyond the usual four-part harmonies, to a few selections in five parts.

Among the songs are a Shaker tune, “Welcome, Welcome Every Guest,” and madrigals of varied mood, from a lament by John Bennett to a playful tune by John Farmer and a John Dowland love song.

The Madrigal Singers also pair a Renaissance song by Thomas Morley (“My bonny lass she smileth”) with a contemporary take by the contemporary master of parody, P.D.Q. Bach (“My bonny lass she smelleth.”)

Then the Mad River Transit singers take over with their program of jazz, blues and popular music. They anticipate the holidays with “Christmas Lullaby” by contemporary musical theatre composer Jason Robert Brown, from his show “Songs for a New World.”

A traditional African-American spiritual (“Soon Ah Will Be Done”) is given what Samet describes as a “fresh and exciting arrangement” by Philip Kern. Except for an a cappella version of the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine,” MRT is accompanied by a rhythm section of piano, bass and drums.

Madrigal Singers and MRT perform on Sunday, December 6 at 8 p.m. in Fulkerson Recital Hall on the HSU campus. Tickets are $8, $5 seniors and children, free to HSU students with ID, from HSU Box Office (826-3928) or at the door. More information: http://HSUMusic.blogspot.com. Produced by HSU Music department.

This year’s Madrigal Dinner will be held in the Kate Buchanan Room at HSU on December 10 at 6 p.m. as an evening of fancy hors d’ouvres, costumes and song. Tickets are $10 general, $5 students.