Pictured: The recording of Christmas Vespers 2020 "Risen With Healing in His Wings.”
November 16, 2021
Written by Public Relations & Communications Strategist Jill Wilson
The School of Music invites the public to join the Augustana University community for its annual Christmas Vespers 2021 Concert “Awake! Awake, and Greet the New Morn,” a celebration of the birth of Christ featuring Augustana’s choirs, orchestra and brass choir. In-person performances will take place at 7:30 p.m., on Friday, Dec. 3, and Saturday, Dec. 4, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls.
Dean of the School of Music Dr. Peter Folliard said, “This annual tradition to share the good news of the season through music is always a highlight of our musical calendar, and we can’t wait to share what we have in store for this year’s service.”
The School of Music is once again embracing the power of technology to present Christmas Vespers 2021 virtually through online streaming so this beloved tradition and the magic of the season can be experienced from the comfort of home. A recording of Augustana’s annual Christmas Vespers concert was first executed in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic caused the School of Music to find new ways to share its creativity with the world.
Produced by Augustana multimedia entrepreneurship majors, School of Music Director of Marketing & Operations Chad Carder and Folliard, the large-scale performance is being carried out by integrating Augustana’s newly-constructed state-of-the-art Midco Media Center in the Fryxell Humanities Center with its Winden Choral Room, Lillehaug Instrumental Room and Hamre Recital Hall.
“This year’s recording for broadcast relied heavily on the expertise of our students in the new multimedia entrepreneurship major,” said Folliard. “Students were assigned co-producer and assistant producer roles in both video and audio recording, editing, mixing and mastering — allowing them to get hands-on experience in a full scale broadcast.”
In addition, the School of Music will be hosting an interactive online watch party as a YouTube Premiere for Christmas Vespers 2021 on Friday, Dec. 17, at 7:30 p.m. Following the watch party, the public will be able to access segments of Augustana's Christmas Vespers via Augustana's YouTube Channel.
Christmas Vespers will also be available via television broadcast on South Dakota Public Broadcasting and North Dakota Public Broadcasting.
About Christmas Vespers
One of Augustana’s oldest and most beloved traditions made its debut on Dec. 18, 1938, when the Augustana Choir presented a service of Yuletide music to a full house in the gymnasium/chapel. This Vespers service ushered in the Advent and Christmas celebration on campus, a tradition that continues to the present.
The first Vespers service was presented in three parts: The Prophecy of the Coming of the Christ Child, the Birth of the Savior and Praise of the Newborn Child. The Augustana Choir sang a majority of the program, but also included a women’s trio, male quartet, male duet and female solo.
Christmas Vespers continued in this basic format for the next few years, evolving quickly into one of the college’s most popular and well-attended programs.
In recent years, Vespers has become a multi-performance event to thousands in Sioux Falls and the region — also performing in Rapid City and the Twin Cities.