A feast for the senses

It's not unlike a banquet you would go to today, said Reeves, except it's set in a historical period, perhaps made most obvious by the unusual garb.

"There are fancier gowns, tights, hats, some capes and the servers where tunics," said Reeves. "Some of our singers have endeavored to make their own costumes, but we also rent some to make sure they're fairly accurate from the era."

Feasts were extensive events, characterized not only by the enormous spread of food, but also by the almost never-ending entertainment. This Christmas Madrigal features both Renaissance-era tunes and more modern songs.

"They will experience music from all centuries; we don't limit our music to that era. We'll do some contemporary things, but it's primarily older style of singing, unaccompanied singing except with some organ playing and a few instruments like flutes and drums," said Reeves, who said there will be a harpsichord played this year. "The Lord and Lady of the manor will be there overseeing everything and we'll have jugglers. Guests can enjoy a fine meal, complete with wassail, which is a non-alcoholic drink, sort of like a spiced fruit punch, as well as special breads and salads."

The event began 13 years ago, to serve as a fundraiser for the church, with most of the proceeds going to mission work or charities and a small amount being put toward things needed in the church, said Reeves.

There will be three performances: Friday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 4, at 4 and 7:45 p.m. Tickets are $35 per person or $250 for a table of eight, a special rate offered only for the Saturday night dinner. The Saratoga Springs United Methodist Church is at 175 5th Ave. in Saratoga Springs.""

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