Bemidji State University Hosts 50th Annual Madrigal Dinners

50th Annual Madrigal Dinner rehearsal group photoTickets for Bemidji State University’s 50th Annual Madrigal Dinners will be available for purchase on Oct. 22 both online and in the Madrigal Dinners ticket office in the Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex. Performances of this northern Minnesotan yuletide tradition will be held Nov. 30 – Dec. 9 at Salolampi, the Finnish language camp at Bemidji’s Concordia Language Villages. The dinners were moved to Salolampi in 2017.

“We want to give our patrons a complete experience, from the moment that they come on site through the time that they finish the evening,” said Dr. Dwight Jilek, Bemidji State director of choral activities, assistant professor of music and producer of the Madrigal Dinners. “We want them to feel like they have been transported to another place, and when you think of the Concordia Language Villages that is exactly what they were made to do.”

Dr. Dwight Jilek.
Dr. Dwight Jilek.

Jilek said the new venue offers significantly increased accessibility with drop-off conveniently located near the main entrances. It also will provide more flexible seating options, particularly for large parties. While previous dinners were limited to tables of eight, this year’s performance can accommodate same-table seating for much larger parties.

Bemidji State’s Madrigal Dinners are an annual musical dinner production of music and masque (play) sponsored by the Department of Music and presented by students from all majors across campus. This annual BSU tradition recreates a yuletide feast in a renaissance castle in Elizabethan England, complete with the royal court, beggars, cellar keepers, recorders, royal brass and the king’s players, who perform the masque.

Lindsay Marketon of Howard Lake, Minn., and Ian Trosen, a transfer student of Wayzata, Minn., will play the 50th king and queen of the Madrigal Dinners. Trosen is a senior studying music with an emphasis in vocal performance and Marketon is a senior studying vocal music education and piano performance and pedagogy.

“I’m really excited to be a part of this, especially for the 50th anniversary,” said Trosen. “It’s something that I can feel honored about. There is a standard of excellence that comes with the Madrigal Dinners and I hope that is something that can reflect on our community.”

The Madrigal Dinners were founded at BSU in 1969 under the tenure of Dr. Paul Brandvik, professor emeritus of vocal music. The dinners combine musical, visual, dramatic and culinary arts into an evening that transcends time. Since their debut at Bemidji State, the dinners have been performed throughout Minnesota, Washington and Wisconsin. In partnership with BSU’s centennial celebration, artifacts from 50 years of madrigal dinners are on display in the Ramsey Gallery located in the Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex.

“The Madrigal Dinners pull people out of their everyday world,” Marketon said. “We want people to enjoy the season, enjoy being together and to be entertained. The dinners are touching not only to the patrons but also to us when we have that experience together, sing together and use our gifts and talents to bring joy.”

Jilek will serve as music director and producer for this year’s dinner, while award-winning designer and Bemidji State alumnus Fred Rogers will serve as artistic director and costume designer. Rogers earned a liberal arts degree from BSU in 2012 and a criminal justice degree in 2015.

Bemidji State’s 2018 performance schedule includes eight shows comprised of five 7 p.m. evening dates and three 1 p.m. matinees. Doors open 30 minutes prior to each performance and patrons are encouraged to purchase tickets early, as performances traditionally sell out.

Tickets for the Madrigal Dinners will go on sale on Oct. 22; $45 for adults and $35 for students. Tickets can be purchased by visiting the Madrigal Dinners ticket office in Room 101 of BSU’s Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex or by printing an order form from the Department of Music website and sending it with a check via postal mail. Tickets will also be available online. For more information about online tickets, visit the Madrigal Dinners’ Facebook page. Ticket orders cannot be placed by phone.

Admission includes a meal prepared by Concordia Language Villages chefs, with an option to purchase non-alcoholic sparkling cider and roses from beggars during the show. The meal will include vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. A cash bar will be available.

Parking will be available on-site at Salolampi, and a limited-availability shuttle from the Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex parking lot will be available. Seating on the shuttle, which loads one hour prior to each performance and departs 10 minutes later, can be reserved when purchasing advance tickets for the dinners.

The Madrigal Dinners ticket office address is:
Madrigal Tickets
BSU Department of Music
1500 Birchmont Drive NE #16
Bemidji, MN 56601-2699


  • Nov. 30 – Performance at 7 p.m.
  • Dec. 1 – Performance at 7 p.m.
  • Dec. 2 – Performances at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Dec. 7 – Performance at 7 p.m.
  • Dec. 8 – Performance at 1 p.m.
  • Dec. 9 – Performances at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.



  • Bemidji State University Madrigal Dinners Facebook page

MN State logoBemidji State University, located in northern Minnesota’s lake district, occupies a wooded campus along the shore of Lake Bemidji. A member of the colleges and universities of Minnesota State, Bemidji State offers more than 80 undergraduate majors and 11 graduate degrees encompassing arts, sciences and select professional programs. Bemidji State has an enrollment of more than 5,100 students and a faculty and staff of more than 550. University signature themes include environmental stewardship, civic engagement and global and multi-cultural understanding.