“A Jester’s Test: A Clear Creek Madrigal Dinner” had something for everyone — Renaissance attire, Christmas carols, acrobatics, sword-fighting, wassail and even a choral rendition of Smash Mouth’s “All Star.”
Clear Creek High School students revived a longstanding tradition on Nov. 16 when they hosted the dinner-and-a-show event at the Idaho Springs Elks Lodge. About 45 choir and band students performed songs before, during and after the dinner.
Students have been working on the performance since around the time the school year started, and were excited to share their hard work with the 75 attendees.
The CCHS choir used to host the Madrigal Dinner once every two years, according to vocal performance teacher Micayla Bellamy. However, she believed the last performance was five years ago, and wanted to revive it.
Sophomore Collin Hendrickson, who plays bass trombone in the band, said it was the group’s first large-scale performance outside of school since the pandemic started. So, it was a great to play for a big crowd again, he said.
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The event was a fundraiser for various CCHS projects, including buying new microphones and repairing instruments, according to Bellamy. She wasn’t sure how much the group raised, but estimated it was enough to cover its $1,400 in expenses.
About half the students were dressed in Renaissance garb, some of which CCHS already owned, and the rest of which was rented from a community member.
Hendrickson wished he could’ve been one of the students who dressed up, but all the band members wore their usual concert attire instead.
Sophomore Jesse Levy donned the jingly jester costume after being chosen to play the titular role. Bellamy played the other lead, which included some small-level acrobatic work.
Levy felt that even though the group missed a few parts, the show went well as everyone went with the flow.
“It was chaos, but it was really fun,” Levy said. “I hope everyone who came had a good time.”
Desiree O’Donnell and her younger daughter, Ava, 6, certainly did. O’Donnell explained that her older daughter joined choir this year, and the family came out to watch her and her friends perform.
Ava enjoyed Levy’s performance as jester, while O’Donnell said her favorite part of the evening was the band’s final song, “Salvation is Created.”
Hendrickson explained that the band members were mostly playing in smaller groups, called chamber ensembles, throughout the evening. However, “Salvation is Created” was one song the entire band played.
Hendrickson said he was a little nervous to play his chamber ensemble piece, which was a Christmas fanfare, because his group hadn’t practiced that song as much. However, he thought he and his fellow musicians did well.
County resident Jeff Gosney explained that his fiancée, Dacia Kelly, works for the school district and the couple attended the event to support the students. He said he put in a few silent auction bids to help with fundraising efforts.
Gosney thought the Renaissance theme was interesting. After participating in drama when he was in high school, he understood and appreciated all the work that goes into a performance like “A Jester’s Test.”
Bellamy invited community members to mark Dec. 7-8 on their calendars for the choir and band’s next performances.
Contact reporter Corinne Westeman at email@example.com, and follow her on Twitter @cwesteman.