New Britain High Madrigals' Feaste is worthy of a wizard

Published on Sunday, 9 December 2018 20:31
Written by Erica Drzewiecki


NEW BRITAIN - For the 41st year in a row, teenage musicians shared their talents with the public over the weekend.

Almost 300 people attended New Britain High School’s 2018 Madrigal Feaste, which took place in the school’s auditorium Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Students performed while their guests enjoyed a five-course meal on stage.

It was a Feaste of many firsts, including Director Jason Ferrandino’s first year leading the show, titled “A Fantastical Feast of Thrones.”

“I went with a classic fantasy,” Ferrandino said. “It is a combination of ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Harry Potter’ with a little ‘Game of Thrones’ thrown in.”

In past years, the NBHS Madrigals have tackled everything from mobster themes, to superhero tales and murder mysteries.

This was also the first year in a long time the Feaste offered a matinee show on Sunday afternoon. Typically there are dinner seatings only on Friday and Saturday evenings.

This also was the very first time the event took place inside the high school. In the past, it’s been held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.

Ferrandino, a 1999 NBHS graduate, is a former Madrigals Student Leader. This year, that role was shared by seniors Leah Gaffney and Manny Benitez.

“This is one of the best times of the Madrigals’ season,” Gaffney said Sunday. “We all get really close. We also get to be ourselves, since the script was written to reflect who we are as people.”

She played “Harry Potter” wizard Hermione Granger.

“I’m kind of a know-it-all at times, kind of like her,” Gaffney said.

Benitez played John Snow, the main protagonist of the television series “Game of Thrones.”

“He’s very brave, outspoken and strong, which are all qualities I possess,” Benitez said.

Almost 100 students participated in the Feaste, including the elite Madrigals group, the Treble Choir, and Orchestra and Marching Band members.

“Wenches” served the meal, which was catered by Jeske’s Catering of Berlin. Their instruction came from NBHS alum Larielyz Rosa, who graduated a Madrigal in 2016.

She has fond memories of her time with the group, which she described as “a safe zone.”

“I loved it; it was very fun,” Rosa explained. “It’s an afterschool activity that helps you de-stress.”

It’s also a New Britain tradition for many local families.

“There are some tables of people here who have been coming for many years,” Ferrandino pointed out. “This is part of their Christmas tradition.”

The Madrigals will head out into the community for two days next week to perform for the New Britain Lions Club, Jerome Home and Autumn Lake HealthCare.

The Armenian Church of the Holy Resurrection will welcome back the group for the third decade.

Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at 860-801-5097 or

Posted in New Britain Herald, , New Britain on Sunday, 9 December 2018 20:31. Updated: Sunday, 9 December 2018 20:34.