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Highland to feature Big Band Concert and Madrigal Dinner

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The Highland Community College Big Band will take the stage beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, November 19, in the Fine Arts Theatre at the Ferguson Fine Arts Center, 2998 W. Pearl City Rd., Freeport, Ill.

Highland Big Band Director Bill Petersen and his ensemble will feature jazz selections from “I left My Heart In San Francisco,” arranged by Quincy Jones for The Count Basie Orchestra; “All the Things You Are,” arranged by Gerry Mulligan for The Stan Kenton Orchestra; “I’ll Be Seeing You,” arranged by Willie Maiden for the Maynard Ferguson Big Band; “Intermission Riff” for the Stan Kenton Orchestra; “Fables of Faubus,” composed by Charles Mingus for his band, and featuring a dramatic monologue by Lafrancine Baker, and “Freckle Face,” composed by Sammy Nestico for the Count Basie Orchestra.

The Big Band Concert is free and open to the public. Masks are required in all Highland buildings. Due to COVID-19, performance information is subject to change. The latest updates to guidance are available at

The 11th annual Madrigal Dinner featuring the music of the Royal Scots and Chamber Singers will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 3 and 4 in the Masonic Temple Ballroom, 305 W. Stephenson St., Freeport, Ill.

Take a step back in time to the 16th century, where Renaissance costumes and harmonious music herald in the Christmas season with a traditional dinner accompanied by a concert of acapella carols. Experience the recreation of an Olde English Yuletide Feaste, complete with Jester and Wassail Lord, noble Courtiers, Ladies in Waiting, Knights, and a magnificent meal.

Join the Wassail Lord as his noble guests in the Great Hall of the Manor, and feast with all the trimmings: Wassail (hot mulled apple cider), the Boars Head course (roast pork or roasted quarter fowl), and of course, the renowned Flaming Plum Pudding. The meal is being specially prepared by Krogull Custom Catering, with chef Jeff Krogull recreating the historic recipes. Special dietary needs may also be accommodated if requested at booking.

Randy Haldeman, choral director at Highland Community College, said this is an event steeped in traditions dating back to 1340 at Queen’s College, Oxford. Scenes are woven among the courses of the meal and set up the sweet messages of the ancient and familiar Christmas carols. There will be plenty of toasts, jokes, comic performances, and radiant costumes throughout the evening, and together they present a thoughtful reflection on the meaning of the Christmas spirit.

Tickets are $40 and must be reserved by 5 p.m. on Nov. 24. Please call 815-599-3718 for phone orders, in-person tickets sales are available in the Ferguson Fine Arts Center box office, on the campus of Highland Community College, open 1-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. To order online, visit Multiple COVID mitigation measures will be in place for the safety of the audience and performers, for more information please contact the box office.

This event is made possible through the generous donations and support of the Valley of Freeport Masons, HCC Friends of the Fine Arts, the HCC Foundation, and patrons.

Due to COVID-19, performance information is subject to change. The latest updates to guidance are available at

For more information about Highland Community College Fine Arts performances or vocal or instrumental groups, please contact the Fine Arts Department at 815-599-3490 or visit