Of the Keizertimes

Supporters of McNary High School’s choir program should expect everything to be bigger and better for its third annual Knight of Song,. There may even be jousting.

Tickets are $35 per person for the evening of entertainment and silent and oral auctions and can be purchased online at or by calling 503-399-3233. Tables of eight are available for $280.  Juggler and comedian Charlie Brown headlines the evening’s line-up which includes performances from McNary’s choirs,  dressed in period attire, and the scenes from the Celts’ recent production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

McNary’s choirs are prepping music especially for the night, said Jesus Gomez, a McNary senior.

“Madrigal music is quite a bit different from the other types of music we sing as a choir. It predates most of the classical forms of music that we sing,” Gomez said.

Madrigal music arose during the Renaissance after it was decided that the only type of holy music permitted in churches was a capella.

“But people wanted to hear music outside the church about their everyday lives. They wanted to hear stuff about the problems of the day and, of course, love and sex,” Gomez said.

The result was a blended palette of music made possible by rich families of the time patronizing musicians who had a venue with which they could be more experimental.

In addition to song and drama, organizers are trying to enlist representatives from other area choir programs to joust Bret Goesch, who will carry the McNary banner.

Auction offerings include a Wicked poster signed by the Broadway cast, a Stratocaster electric guitar, a cymbal and drumsticks signed by the members of Journey from a recent show in Nashville, and six months of tae kwon do training among many others.

Proceeds from the evening and auction will be used to help complete a recording studio at McNary, which will bolster the recent acquisition of a whisper booth used by James Taylor while recording his Grammy-winning album October Road.

Choir director Jim Taylor and Celt teachers Jason Heimerdinger and Todd Layton are establishing a recording arts curriculum at McNary.

Past Madrigal dinners have helped the choir purchase new performance robes and set up a piano lab.