The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

March 3, 2013

Jo Ellis: Medieval madrigals to be performed for Carthage's Art Central

By Jo Ellis
Globe Columnist

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Can’t make it to your favorite English castle for dinner this weekend? No problem. There’s an inexpensive and entertaining alternative close at hand, and you’ll be eating for a good cause as well.

A Renaissance Evening of Madrigal Fun is being sponsored and produced by the Carthage Community of Christ Church in the Precious Moments Wedding Island Ballroom on Friday and Saturday nights.

Dressed in medieval costume, members of the church’s C-5 Choir will sing and dance to madrigals. The guest list of lords and ladies will be regaled with a variety of stories, skits and jokes, while being served by friendly “peasants.”

The fun starts at 7 p.m. Friday with the program and dessert only at a cost of $15. A full four-course dinner, along with the performance, will be served on Saturday, beginning at 6 p.m. at a cost of $25. Proceeds from Friday night will benefit the church’s youth camping program this summer. Saturday night’s proceeds are being donated to Art Central in Carthage.

The idea came about when the youths came to the congregation with a desire to do something for the community.

“We asked them what they wanted to do, and they said they were all very musical, so maybe they could put on a performance,” said Ruth Troyer, a church member.

When it came to deciding which organization they wanted to help, they settled on  Art Central because they had all taken art classes there.

Patrice Sacry, director of the C-5 choir for six years, said the kids “have been having so much fun” practicing the music and making their costumes. With an educational background in Renaissance history, she came up with the theme. Although most of the kids have gone to Renaissance fairs, she said, “They didn’t know what madrigals were.”

Madrigals are vocals in three- or four-part harmony usually sung without musical accompaniment. From personal experience way back in my college days, I know that singing madrigals is difficult, since most of the time your mistakes aren’t covered up by musical instruments.

Assisting the choir will be friends from Inez Gipson’s dance studio and Andrew Pennington, a gymnastics instructor. They are helping with the dancing, juggling and jestering roles. Sacry’s husband, Dr. Roger Sacry, has acquiesced to be a jester.

“So you know he must love me,” Patrice Sacry said. “Precious Moments has been very good to allow us to have this event there since they have closed the wedding island to the public.”

A lighted sign will direct guests to the ballroom.

It won’t be the first time the C-5 Choir has performed for the public. It has toured in Missouri and Oklahoma. Last year, it participated in an Outreach International food ministry program in Los Fresnos, Texas, by working in a food pantry.

“They’re a lovely bunch of kids,” Sacry said. “They’re full of enthusiasm, and they’re building on their talent so they can be of value to the community.”

Tickets can be purchased by calling Troyer at 417-499-9800. Seating is limited.

“We encouraged everyone to dress in medieval attire, but it’s not required,” she said. “Although several have called and said, ‘Oh, we can’t wait to dress up.’”

Address correspondence to Jo Ellis, c/o The Joplin Globe, Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802 or email