Fort Hays State University > About FHSU > Division of Student Affairs > Memorial Union > Madrigal
Partake in the joy and pageantry of the Christmas Season as it might have been celebrated in English castles in the 16th Century.
History The Madrigal Dinner at Fort Hays State University began in the fall of 1964. The Union Activities Board created a monthly series of gourmet dinners. Themes from various parts of the world were used in providing an evening of food, music, and décor. The first dinners represented Holland, Germany and Hawaii. The desire for an English dinner had prompted the involvement of Dr. Donald Stout, FHSU Music Department and Mr. John Thorns, FHSU Art Department. Both were familiar with the Madrigal Dinner held at Indiana University where they had done graduate study.
The Dinners have continued as a tradition since 1964, except the years of 1967 - 1969, and 2006, due to Memorial Union construction. The Lord and Lady of the manor preside over the festivity of holiday food and music the first weekend of December. Each year individuals are selected from the Fort Hays State community to serve as honored guests. These individuals are recognized for their outstanding contribution to the Memorial Union or to Fort Hays State University.Tradition In the 16th century,
England was a melting pot of music and styles from the continent of Europe. Music from Italy (the madrigal, for example), France and Northern Europe (German and Flemish areas) was imitated and given an “English flair.” The singing and instrumentation were often given first traditional hearings at informal private affairs in the castles and country homes of the landed gentry. Many of the Lords and Ladies performed the music themselves as they sat at dinner in the Great Hall. Part books were handed out and everyone present participated as the host encouraged. The FHSU Madrigal Feaste is our representation of the joy and reverence of the Christmas Season as it might have been celebrated in 16th century England.For information call the
Memorial Union Office
785-628-5308. Located on the second floor of the Memorial Union. FHSU Music Department
Highlights from the 2010 Feaste.