Feasts of Madrigals

Yallourn Madrigal Singers are in their final rehearsals for the annual Winter Feast program. photograph supplied

Yallourn Madrigal Singers are in their final rehearsals for the annual Winter Feast program. photograph supplied

While the walls of Yallourn High School are no longer standing, the legacy of one of its teachers, Val Pyers lives on in the Latrobe Valley.

In 1956 the high school teacher helped form the Yallourn Madrigal Singers which has about 20 members today.

"He had a passion for choral music and had a really good music program going at Yallourn High School at the time," Yallourn Madrigal Singers co-director of music Sophy Morley said.

The group now rehearses in Traralgon and has been placing the final polish on pieces which they have been working on since February.

Coming up are the singers' annual Winter Feasts. Morley said the idea was modelled on a medieval banquet where, in the depths of winter, singers would fill the space between the courses.

The dinner feasts begun at Morwell's former Gaztronomy Restaurant andhave been going the past 20 years, however, this year there will be the first luncheon to make the most of the warmest part of the day.

In keeping with the historic British mood, this year the theme for the repertoire will be 'Keep Calm and Carry On' to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.

"'Keep Calm and Carry On' was something around in 1918 and was actually there to keep the people of England in good spirits so we decided to actually have some war songs," Morley said.

Despite the theme, she said there would be a mix of music.

To be true Madrigals, the choir has included some pieces from Brahms, Faure and other choral classics, while there will be a few "crowd favourites" such as pieces from Les Miserables.

"We didn't want to make it a sad program so we wanted to make it just a very varied and interesting program for people," Morley said.

She hinted there would be songs on the list which people "may be familiar with".

Morley said the group always loved putting on the event and had regular guests who always booked early.

"It would be great to welcome new people as well," Morley said.

The Winter Feasts will be held at Century Inn, Traralgon West.

The two-course dinner concert will be on Friday, August 17 at 7pm and the two-course luncheon will be on Sunday, August 19 at noon. For tickets, visit trybooking.com/WFLT and for more information, email yallournmadrigalsingers@gmail.com.

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