A holiday fanfare

Shantae Rollins

Medieval-style feaste entertains audience

Queen Elizabeth is seated at the head of the table on the stage in the Kent Student Center Ballroom. The Kent State Chorale held the 2008 Yuletide Feaste to raise funds last night. Sam Twarek | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

Guests attending the 36th annual Yuletide Feaste were met with the sounds of traditional medieval music and the faint smell of warm apple cider. Men dressed as heralds, clad in medieval attire, invited them to mingle and enjoy the atmosphere.

As groups entered, the heralds rang a bell, addressing guests as “sir,” “lady” and other English titles.

Student Center Programming and University Dining Services presented the opening performance of the Yuletide Feaste, a medieval-themed dinner performance, last night in the Student Center Ballroom. It featured the Kent State Chorale.

Scott MacPherson, the chorale’s new director from Texas, has taken over for recently retired Clarence M. Shearer. MacPherson directed the event for the first time.

Friends invited Dale Hughes and his wife, Sandy, to the feaste. They are longtime supporters of the Kent State Chorale.

“We have come to this event three or four times,” Hughes said. “We’re really looking forward to the good food they serve every year and the pageantry of the evening.”

In keeping with the holiday season, the chorale planned an elaborate feast and celebration to display its talent and to help raise funds for spring touring.

Approximately 150 guests attended. In the back of the room, they entertained themselves to a cash bar near a sun-shaped ice sculpture. In the front of the room, the stage was set for the performers. The entrances were disguised as stone walls, resembling a castle, and the stage was draped in deep colored velvet, thick garland and seasonal poinsettias.

At 8 p.m. trumpets sounded, signaling the procession of dozens of chorale members into the ballroom. Men wearing tights, decorative medeival-style hats and knee-length tunics and women with their hair adorned in beading and wearing long empire-waist dresses lined the rear of the room, commanding the attention of attendees.

Their voices broke out in song, and two heralds then introduced the singers, two-by-two.

After all the chorale members had made their way to the stage, Queen Elizabeth I made her grand entrance.

“Health and happiness to all who attend this joyous event,” she said.

The evening proceeded, as guests were entertained by witty dialogue and multiple harmonious music selections.

Vanessa Courie and her daughter, Sarah, have attended the event for the past three years and said they enjoy the joyful atmosphere.

“I really enjoy all the music,” said Courie. “I love seeing the students traveling around the room singing.”

The Yuletide Feaste will also be performed tonight and tomorrow.

Contact student affairs reporter Shantae Rollins at [email protected].