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UC celebrates Christmas season with annual Madrigal Dinners


The students in UC’s Chamber Choir sing at the music department’s annual Madrigal Dinners on Thursday, Dec. 1. Students dress in Renaissance-style clothing and entertain guests with music and comedy.

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. — The University of the Cumberlands (UC) music department began its yearly Christmas tradition on Thursday, Dec. 1 when they held the first in a series of three madrigal dinners. UC has hosted the dinners for 44 years, each year featuring a variety of food and Christmas music, performed by UC’s Chamber Choir.

The dinners are a popular event, drawing people near and far. Tammy Diamond and her children drove from Barbourville to attend. Diamond’s daughter is a junior in high school and interested in the Renaissance Period. When asked if the trip to Williamsburg was worth it, Diamond replied, “absolutely!”

The dinner begins with a word from the Crier, who narrates the event throughout the evening. This year marked the 31st year that Charles Dupier, Jr., former UC professor, has been the Crier. The Crier gives historical information of madrigals as students in period costumes entertain guests with music and comedy. Guests also have the treat of sampling foods like “Fayre Brest of Capon” and “Drizzling Chocolate Cakes of Cheese with Harde Sauce,” among other aptly-named foods.

Former head of UC’s music department Dr. Harold Wortman started the dinners in 1967, wishing to create an event that would strengthen the relationship between the university and the community. This year, every table was filled with an average of 210 guests every night.

More information about the Madrigal Dinners is available through UC’s music department at (606) 539-4332.

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; seven graduate degrees, including a doctorate and six master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.