Food tasters gave their opinions on three kinds of soup, three different vegetables, two salads, three sides and three meat dishes earlier this week to help pick the menu for the 35th annual Madrigal Dinner at Oklahoma State University.

The tasters ranked tomato, potato and vegetable soups, green beans, mixed vegetables, glazed carrots, two rice dishes, a slaw, potatoes, sweet potatoes, roast beef, pork roast and Cornish hens, all prepared by Dining Services staff especially for the occasion.

Food Production Manager Eric Esau said he’s not sure exactly how he decided what to serve for the tasting, although he tries to give tasters a choice of fowl, pork and beef.

Beyond that, he said, “it’s really what sounds good.”

When the votes are tallied, the winning menu will be served at the Madrigal Dinner, “Welcum Yule! Cloisters and Comedy,” Dec. 3-6 in the Student Union Ballroom.

The event will include madrigal singers and players, who are also busy getting ready, Allied Arts and Special Events Coordinator Joe Ray said. This year is his 10th year to be involved in the Madrigal Dinner.

Associate Professor of Music Z. Randall Stroope will direct the madrigal singers (known the rest of the year as the chamber choir). He has already picked the repertoire for the program, which helped decide the theme, Ray said.

Directors also interviewed and auditioned players this week, Ray said, and will be picking them soon and beginning to order costumes from a costumer in New York City who supplies costumes for Broadway productions.

OSU also owns some costumes, he added, and has a seamstress on staff to make any others needed.

The Madrigal Dinner helps raise money for scholarships in the music department, specifically for choral students, Ray said, and also for scholarships awarded by the Student Union.

Tickets are $35 for non-students. Fifty tickets at $25 will be available for students on a first-come, first-served basis, and $20 discount tickets for children age 12 and under will be available for the Dec. 3 performance only. The $35 ticket includes a $5.75 tax-deductible donation to the scholarship funds.

Tickets will go on sale in mid-October, Ray said.

For more information about Madrigal Dinner, call 744-5231 or visit

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