November 30: Madrigal and Empty Bowls

Hello, Black River Falls Community! This is Dr. Shelly Severson, Superintendent of the School District of Black River Falls, and I’m here to share this week’s Spotlight on Schools. This week I’d love to talk with you about two events that happen annually around this time of year. The first is the Madrigal Dinner; this Renaissance-inspired music event and feast has been happening in Black River Falls for almost 50 years! The event this year is going to be held on Saturday, December 8. Tickets must be purchased in advance and can be purchased at the HS office. This year we have a new HS choir teacher, Ms. Walker. Talk about a stressful first year on the job! Wow, I promise - you won’t be disappointed. The students are ready to entertain!

The second event is still relatively new in our community but is going to quickly become a holiday favorite! The event is called Empty Bowls and will take place this coming Monday evening, December 3rd. You do NOT need to purchase any tickets ahead of time. Please, just stop in and enjoy homemade soup, bread bowls and the opportunity to do a little holiday shopping! The Empty Bowls event is a collaborative event from the high school that involves the FCCLA students serving a soup dinner in a delicious fresh bread bowl, and then includes several different departments showcasing student holiday projects for sale. Last year the welding class made some fantastic steel Christmas tree decorations, there were homemade wreaths, handmade holiday cards, some Tiger apparel from the School Store, handmade candles, potpourri, sewing projects, and the list goes on and on! One of the highlights is the number of ceramic bowls that are handcrafted and sold; while you don’t actually eat your soup out of them at the event, they are beautiful and could be put to many uses at home! The students proudly display their wares and act as the salespeople. It is truly a fantastic night to kickstart your holidays! What holiday event would be complete without music? That’s part of the beauty of the Empty Bowls evening, it happens right before the Middle School Holiday Concert which begins at 7:00 pm in the Lunda Theater. Come and have dinner, browse through the student work, and cap off the evening listening to the middle school band and choirs! All profits from the event are donated to the Jackson County Food Pantry.

The Empty Bowls coordinators were recently recognized at Wisconsin Rural Schools Conference by receiving the Standing up for Rural Wisconsin Award. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction recognized the efforts, by the students and staff, by commending them for the cooperation by the school, community, and local businesses which enabled families to enjoy a variety of hearty soups and do some holiday craft shopping, all while raising funds for the Jackson County Food Pantry.

We are extremely proud of the fantastic efforts of so many of our high school students that step up into leadership roles and continue to find ways to serve our community! The staff is here to facilitate the work, however, the efforts of our students truly carry the day! Hopefully, you can make it to the Empty Bowls event on Monday, December 3rd in the middle school commons and enjoy some hearty soup and perhaps stay for the first concert of the holiday season! Don’t forget about the Madrigal Dinner right around the corner on Saturday, December 8th.

There is an awful lot happening this time of year and I can’t celebrate our fantastic music department staff enough! This is a month where their work truly shines. There is something about the beautiful music of the season that brings back so many warm holiday memories. I hope you’ll take the opportunity to enjoy one of the many musical events taking place this month!

If you have any questions about this or anything else within the District, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Let’s show our Tiger Pride in all that we do!
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