A CUW tradition continues!

Concordia’s Music Department will proudly present the 33rd annual Christmas at Concordia concert, this year in a COVID-conscious manner.

Beginning on Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m., a virtual concert featuring eight of CUW’s ensembles will be made available for on-demand viewing at cuw.edu/ChristmasConcert, and will stay available for rewind and re-watch throughout the holidays. You’re invited to incorporate this Concordia tradition into your family’s holiday celebrations, set a date to watch in tandem with fellow alumni, or simply take in the concert at your leisure. 

Registration is not required. In lieu of purchasing tickets, we ask you to consider a donation to support the CUW Music Department. Click here to donate.  

Christmas at Concordia

Starting Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m. CST

Available for virtual, on-demand viewing

Click here to watch

Featured music groups will include: Alleluia Ringers, Chapel Ringers, Chapel Choir, Selah, Kammerchor, Jazz Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra, University Band, and Symphonic Wind Ensemble, along with organ accompaniment by Dr. James Freese. 

Ensemble directors are Johanna Anderson (University Band), Mark Bloedow (handbells), Dr. Alexa Doebele (choral groups), and Dr. Louis Menchaca (Jazz Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra, and Symphonic Wind Ensemble).

“Our Christmas at Concordia celebration is especially meaningful this year,” said Menchaca, music department chair. “We faced limitations due to the pandemic, but our student music community rose to the occasion admirably. As colleges and universities nationwide have been forced to go virtual or cancel concerts due to outbreaks, we don’t take lightly the blessing it is to still celebrate the birth of our Savior through music this holiday season.”

Filming the festivities

Concordia partnered with Inspirmedia Productions, whose team includes CUW alumnus Micah Rabe, to bring this treasured performance to Concordia supporters’ homes. 

This evening, Friday, Nov. 20, the ensembles will wrap up two full days of recording in the Chapel of Christ Triumphant. The filming schedule purposely included at least an hour intermission between groups to allow for proper air filtration in the space. Groups also adhered to physical distancing protocols and wore masks during performance.  

Scroll down to view scenes from the recording.

Performance repertoire

This year’s Christmas at Concordia selections include: 

  • “Patapan” arranged by Sandra Peter
  • “Fanfare Prelude on ‘Joy to the World'” by James Curnow
  • “In the Bleak Midwinter” based on the hymn tune Cranham and arranged by Brenda Austin
  • “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Johnny Marks and arranged by Chris Sharp
  • “Suite of Carols” by Leroy Anderson
  • “What Child Is This?” arranged by Michael Helman
  • “See Amid the Winter’s Snow” arranged by Philip Sparke
  • “A Charlie Brown Christmas” by Vince Guaraldi and arranged by Paul Murtha”
  • “Angels We Have Heard on High” arranged by Arnold B. Sherman
  • “Bethlehem Down” by Peter Warlock
  • “Angels Sing” by Bill Calhoun
  • “Ukrainian Bell Carol Fantasy” by Mykola Leontovich and arranged by Cynthia Dobrinski”
  • “Overture to a Winter Festival” by James Curnow

Audience members will be invited to sing along to some familiar Christmas hymns from at home. A complete program will be posted at cuw.edu/ChristmasConcert for download on the evening of the concert. 

History of Christmas at Concordia

CUW’s Christmas at Concordia celebration first began in 1987 as a single, evening performance of the university’s Kammerchor, Chorale, Alleluia Ringers, and Symphonic Wind Ensemble. The debut concert drew more than 1,000 people (200 more than the chapel’s capacity). The event was such a hit that the following year, the Music Department added a second evening to the repertoire. For the past two decades, both Christmas at Concordia concerts have drawn capacity crowds. 

Today, Concordia boasts 10 performing ensembles that include more than 400 student musicians. The groups comprise music majors and minors, as well as students from liberal arts majors throughout the university who wish to perform and study music with CUW’s acclaimed music faculty.

— This story is written by Kali Thiel, director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at kali.thiel@cuw.edu or 262-243-2149.

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