SF Madrigal Singers Starring at the Planetarium

Pair soaring through space with the soaring vocals of the Santa Fe Madrigal Singers, as they perform at the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium on Monday, Nov. 22, for a free concert entitled “Stellar Madrigals.” Due to the popularity of their previous shows, the Madrigal Singers will perform not one, but two, one-hour shows at 6 and 7:30 p.m., serenading audiences with both classical and contemporary madrigal music following a trip through the universe projected onto the planetarium’s 34-foot dome.

“Our shows at the planetarium have always been really successful, and we’ve had an overflow audience every time,” said the Madrigal Singers’ director Professor Lynn Sandefur, who advises spectators to show up early in order to nab one of the 60 planetarium seats.

Accompanied by Professor Brian Holder, the director of the Santa Fe Percussion Collective, the Santa Fe Madrigal Singers will feature several “guest” artists from the Fine Arts College’s senior vocal class. Unlike band songs, which can last more than 10 minutes, madrigal compositions are usually shorter, and each song will be introduced with an interesting tidbit about the song or the story it tells.

“Every show I do is uplifting. I believe in both entertaining and educating,” said Sandefur. “Even the most reluctant student comes out of these concerts saying it wasn’t bad at all. They’ll find out a few things they don’t know, but there’s an informality to these shows as well.”

“Stellar Madrigals” marks the fourth time the Santa Fe Madrigal Singers have paired a night of star-gazing with their a cappella music. A small ensemble group comprised of upwards of 15 students, the Madrigal Singers perform a style of music popularized during the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Along with madrigal standards such as Thomas Morley’s “Sing We and Chant It” and Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D minor,” audiences can expect more modern and holiday classics such as Alfred Reed’s “Greensleeves.”

“When one sings madrigals, one thinks of it as intimate,” said Sandefur. “A lot of these songs cover kinds of love, like unrequited love and spurned love. This space in the Planetarium tends to be more intimate and fits that mood. It’s the intimate nature of the space plus the intimate nature of these songs that’s going to make this performance unique.”

To be a Santa Fe Madrigal Singer, students need to have more than just vocal chops. The freshmen and sophomores who join the Madrigal Singers come from a variety of backgrounds, from singing with Professor Steve Bingham’s jazz band to hitting the high notes in opera performances. Also, madrigal songs often require the ability to sing in a foreign language, a skill honed in Santa Fe’s vocal studios, as well as the madrigal class taught by Sandefur.

“I feel that madrigals are the best way to teach people how to sing and where the tones go,” said Sandefur. “Even when we sing in a foreign language, we will be singing it in a way that audiences will understand what we’re singing about. Above all, our focus is on entertaining.”

For more information about this concert, please contact Professor Lynn Sandefur at 352-381-3639.

This press release was written by Allison Griner, Communication Specialist, College Relations

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