Feast of Carols stays true to roots, adds extra flare for 30th anniversary

With the holidays rapidly approaching, organizations are preparing for their annual traditions and festivities. The choir department is gearing up for their 30th year of Feast of Carols, a dinner and Christmas concert all centered around a Renaissance theme which will take place on December 12, 13, and 14.

Choir directors Alex Medlock and Rob Urbanek have kept some aspects of the traditional performance of Feast while bringing their own element to the production.

“We’re making [this year] more of an experience rather than just coming to a choir concert,” Urbanek said. “We’ve made subtle changes throughout the years like menu changes, song selections, and flow of the evening.”

On top of expanding the experience, Medlock said that the choir is experimenting with different musical and production styles that are new to Feast.

“We’re adding a more elaborate lighting experience,” Medlock said. “We’re exploring new genres of music that have not been experienced in the past years of Feast of Carols.”

Although Medlock and Urbanek are adding new aspects to Feast, they know that the traditions are what makes Feast memorable year after year.

“It’s not like we’ve changed everything, but rather we’ve improved everything that can be improved,” Urbanek said.

In an attempt to replicate England during the Renaissance, choir members dress up in costumes appropriate for the times and speak in British accents while serving the guests. This makes Feast an enjoyable experience for guests and members of choir alike.

“The whole experience is memorable,” senior Jessica Dill said. “Being able to dress up in costumes and sing in front of everyone is really fun.”

Going out into the audience and interacting with guests during the dinner portion of Feast is an aspect of the performance that junior Addie Henry looks forward to every year.

“When you interact with [the guests], you can see that [they] are enjoying something that you produced,” Henry said.

For new choir members, Feast is a performance that many have looked forward to. Freshman Grayson McGee has been in the audience for many years watching family members perform and is excited to finally be apart of the experience.

“I’m looking forward to being in it for the first time instead of watching it,” McGee said. “We’re doing a lot of really cool songs, so I’m excited to see how they come together with all the choirs.”

At the end of every performance of Feast, former choir members join the current choir and sing “Silent Night,” which many students and alumni say is an emotional and memorable moment of the performance.

“The best part is when you look out into the audience and see that they’re amazed by that song and that one person actually has tears in their eyes because [the song] is that beautiful,” junior Cristina Thomas said.

Every year, new elements are added to Feast which keeps the show interesting and enjoyable for choir and audience members alike. The environment, the song selection, and the emotional attachment to the experience help make the performance something unique year after year.

“[Feast] reminds me of the beauty of Christmas,” Henry said.