Founded in 1966, the Davis Senior High School Madrigals are a Renaissance audition chamber choir of 28-32 high school students from Davis, California. Performing a variety of music dating from the 15th century to the present, singers adorn costumes that interpret the dress of the upper class of late 15th through mid-16th century England. The choir doubles as an extracurricular activity and a high school course, so the director demands the best of these young musicians’ talents. The repertoire of the Madrigal singers includes Gregorian chant, Renaissance motets and madrigal pieces by early composers such as Morley, Victoria, Palestrina, Monteverdi; However, these are alongside pieces by Eric Whitacre, Randall Stroope, and other works by various contemporary composers.
The Madrigals are inspired by the kindness and guidance by some of the top Grammy award musicians from around the world, including Chanticleer, Peter Phillips of the Tallis Scholars, Paul Phoenix and Simon Carrington of the King Singers, and Eric Whitacre. The choir has taken home several International victories, including first place in the Adult Chamber Choir Competition at the Llangollen Eisteddfod International Choral Festival, second place in the Leonardo International Choral Competition in Florence, and first place in the Prague International Choral Competition. The Madrigals also represented the Western United States at the American Choral Directors’ Convention in Honolulu. Along with their strong presence in the United States, the choir has performed all throughout Germany, Austria, England, Italy, Australia, Ireland, and Wales. The choir were invited to join Josh Groban’s on his United States tour, and have been given opportunities to sing in the Sydney Opera House, Lincoln Center, and prominent locations and events in Europe such as the the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s (2010, 2013, and 2019) after their inaugural performance of the Verdi Requiem, the Feast of Saint Peter and Paul in St. Peter’s Basilica and St. Paul outside the wall in 2001.
The Madrigals have continued to represent Davis as one of the top choirs in the country and the world, and the choir currently enjoys about forty performances every year. While they have had the pleasure of working with many renowned American and international musicians, some of the choir's most treasured experiences come from community outreach. From the time-honored tradition of The Madrigal Dinner, serving meals at Davis Community Meals, hosting choral workshops, and performing in benefit concerts, the Madrigals are committed to spreading their musical message of joy and hope through song and service.