DALTON -- In lieu of the more traditional holiday concert this year, Wahconah Regional High School is replacing "O Holy Night" on a bandstand with terpsichorean dances, dinner and madrigal music in a meeting hall.
Tickets are on sale through Monday for the school's premiere of "A Renaissance Feast," which will be held Dec. 11 and 12 at the Dalton American Legion.
"We try to switch it up every year," said Wahconah band director Brian Rabuse, who suggested the idea to his music department colleague and school choral director Ann-Marie Desautelle.
The music educators try to create shows that cater to their students' strengths, which vary from year to year. This year, for example, Rabuse had enough student talent to organize a guitar ensemble, which will perform at the event. Desautelle has organized a women's choir to perform madrigal music a cappella. More than 80 students will participate.
The musicians are also partnering with the Apollonian Players, Wahconah's drama program, to offer a comedic dinner theater piece called "Fools Fall in Love." The script will be performed in full costume, with a royal court, jester and a unicorn in two halves.
"You'll have to come to the show to see what happens," said Thomas Towne, who co-directs the theater program with Pamela Fortlage-Gold.
Desautelle said the Ren aissance event is happening with the help of the staff and cooks at the Dalton American Legion, which will host and prepare food. Students will stand in as servers.
The departments also partnered with choreographer Vickie Hornstein, and borrowed costumes from the Mount Everett Regional High School's fine and performing arts department. Teacher Meghan Gillespie even custom-tailored tunics for the band.
"We wanted to keep it local. I think the whole thing is very interdisciplinary and teaches students about the true meaning of collaboration," Desautelle said.
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