Paly Choir holds 20th annual “Madrigal Feaste”

The Madrigals attracted a large audience to the annual Festival in the Performing Arts Center on Dec. 3 and Dec. 4.

Senior choir student Shaivi Sanchorawala said the diversity of the choir students leads to diverse music choices.

“We have chorale music, as well as pieces from all over the world,” Sanchorawala said “We have people of all different backgrounds and experiences.”

The Madrigals also perform at private, outside-of-school events to raise money for the program, and choir teacher Michael Najar said the group’s performances are in high demand. 

“Every year, people like to have them at their events and parties and corporate gigs,” Najar said. “For example, we’re doing one Thursday at the Sheraton Hotel down the street.” 

The group spent several weeks rehearsing the production, learning the music, memorizing the scripts and creating the costumes. 

“The whole thing takes about five weeks, so it’s a short turnaround,” Najar said. “But we’ve been doing (the Madrigal Festival) for a long time, so it’s a well-oiled machine at this point.”

While the short time frame can be stressful, Najar said the health of the performers is the most recent problem he and fellow director Brittney Kerby have had to deal with.

“The biggest obstacle for the last few years has been illness and COVID-19,” Najar said. “This year it’s been people getting COVID-19 and being out sick, but otherwise it’s great.”

Sanchorawala said students practice outside the choir group to enhance their vocal skills. 

“Many students are in an advanced vocal group as well as the general choir group, which puts a lot of responsibility on them,” Sanchorawala said. “But it all pays off in the end because the feeling of harmonizing and making live music on stage outweighs all the effort.”