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UC hosts 45th annual Madrigal Dinners


WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. — On Nov. 29 through Dec. 1, University of the Cumberlands (UC) held its 45th annual Madrigal Dinners. The popular event was well-attended, with nearly 500 UC employees, students and Williamsburg community members attending the three-night event, and 54 servers, performers and behind-the-scene workers making sure the event was a success.

This year’s attendees were both old and new to the Madrigal tradition. Retired professor Dr. John Broome and wife Mavis have been attending since the first year Madrigals began in 1967, missing only a few times. Sisters Linda and Janie Carter have made it a priority for many years also, missing by necessity only twice in 37 years. First-time Madrigal visitor Randy Sartin commented on the food served at the dinner, saying, “That is the best cheesecake I’ve ever had.”


While Madrigals follows the same format each year, there are new “twists” each time. The Chamber Choir boasts different characters and a new script, and new Christmas songs are interspersed with old favorites. Someone new is always chosen to carry in the boar’s head; it is an honored tradition that one Chamber male considers himself lucky to do.

“It’s an honor,” said senior Micah Wolf of being chosen this year. “I always wanted to do it, so when he [Chamber Choir Director Dr. Jeff Smoak] asked me to; I was like, ‘yes, please!’”

UC’s music department has a hefty and joyous role in welcoming in the Christmas season. They perform at UC’s annual Hanging of the Green, which is swiftly followed by Madrigals. Both are popular events on campus and in the community, said Kristin Disney, administrative assistant and event coordinator for the music department.

“Hanging of the Green and Madrigals kick off the season for the town,” she said. Business professor Janie Carter, UC and Chamber Choir alum, agreed: “The Madrigal Dinner starts the season for me,” she said.

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; twelve graduate degrees, including two doctorate, two specialist and eight master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.