Madrigalia recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. Cary Ratcliff is the group’s current artistic director.
"It was founded by a group of people that got together for the joy of singing and then they formalized it a little bit. Originally they sang just madrigals from the 16th century and then over the years, and three or four directors, it expanded to be to be a group that took on all kinds of choral music at this time of year."
At this time of the year, all kinds of choral music not only means many different styles of music, but music for the many holidays and celebrations that are a part of the season.
"We call it a holiday program and the core of it, just because there's so much great music associated with Christmas, is Christmas music. But we also always have in my programs music that's just about winter, it's about snowfall, it's about ice, it's about the cold. And we also celebrate Hanukkah. We have three pieces in Hebrew that we're doing and that's part of our tradition as well. This year we're inviting the Bach children's choir to a wonderful 30 voice group and we're singing together with them. What we're doing are some pieces that they actually commissioned many years ago just for themselves. And I invented sort of an unusual combination of instruments to accompany them were built around the hammered dulcimer. And to that we add a harp, sort of a similar kind of sound, and then cello oboe and flute. So I called the dulcimer Quintet and I wrote a bunch of pieces for the Bach Children's Choir accompanied by the these and we just put all the pieces together Saturday morning and it's fabulous."
Madrigalia comes to The Smith Opera House in Geneva on Sunday, December 11th at 4 P-M. They will be joined by the Bach Children’s Chorus and the Candlelight Dulcimer Quartet. More information and tickets are available at www.thesmith.org.