ALBANY -- Lauren Jacobs took an interesting path to becoming queen. The Albany High School senior started out playing the clarinet in elementary school. A scheduling problem when she got to high school led to her taking choir. For two years, she was a lowly caroler, but now she's ready to assume her regal position. And you're invited to come celebrate.
Jacobs will be playing the role of queen at the annual Albany Madrigal Delights. The event will be held Dec. 6 to 8 at the Veteran's Memorial Building in Memorial Park. The Thursday and Friday shows will be at 7 p.m., with the Saturday matinee at 11 a.m. Tickets are $17 for Thursday and Friday ($12 students and seniors) and $15 on Saturday ($10 students and seniors).
The Renaissance-inspired event is a fundraiser for the Albany Music Fund, which provides for the music programs in Albany schools.
"As the queen, I'm the host of the event," Jacobs explained. "The idea of the Madrigal would be for jesters and choirs and noble lords and ladies to come to a banquet held by the king and the queen."
Mary Stocker, director of vocal music at Albany high and middle schools, said the event is "not just a performance or a concert, but it's dinner, a play and music. (There are) four courses. In between courses, different plays and different songs are performed."
Stocker said the Madrigal is produced and performed almost entirely by students, from the lights and sound, to the actors and musicians.
The Saturday performance will be the highlight for Jacobs, now president of the choir at Albany High.
"The matinee performance on Saturday is really tailored towards kids," she said. "We have a lot more activities for the kids. I personally get to interact with the crowd more. I take pictures with the kids, put crowns on their heads, call them princess. I'm looking forward to that."
Senior Barbara Deistra will be one of the ladies in the Madrigal.
"We invite our guests to come in," she said. "They sit down and get greeted by the king and queen. The middle class ladies come and serve them. We sing for them and tell them the rules of what they can and cannot do."
The rules help the guests understand how to properly behave at a royal dinner:
Junior Alex Caceres will play a sign-holder. Another boy named Alex will play another sign-holder and puns shall abound, he said.
"The Madrigal is a dinner with a full-on show," Caceres said. "There's lots of great energy. It's a festival of the middle ages with much food, many carols, many jokes and many wonders for people to look at and explore. Along with modern day comedy."
Caceres said he enjoys the camaraderie of the production. "Along with singing and gaining confidence with yourself, you also build relationships with everybody around you," he said. "I feel singing gives you a spiritual bond with the other people you sing with. The social bond is really good. It's really nice to show everyone that we work and that we can do really great things."