Videos share concerts, services

by Mindy Carls correspondent

For 50 years, the two Augustanas have join to present “Joy of Christmas, Past and Present” in the village of Andover.

The COVID-19 pandemic restrictions prevented students and faculty of Augustana College from taking the trip from Rock Island out to Augustana Lutheran Church for the festive service in early December.

Instead, the college and the church cooperated in the production of a YouTube video, “Joy of Christmas Past,” on YouTube’s Jenny Lind Chapel channel.

Unable to have live concerts for audiences filling gyms, Cambridge and Orion schools also are releasing videos.

Orion United Methodist musicians released a video.

Augustana Lutheran Church will livestream its 4 p.m. service on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, and will have a brief in-person service outside the church at 6 p.m. Christmas Eve.

Joy of Christmas

The YouTube video features a Christmas sermon delivered in 1975 by Conrad Bergendoff, who was Augustana's president from 1935 to 1962 and a longtime champion of Jenny Lind Chapel, Andover.

The Rev. Reed Pedersen, pastor of Augustana Lutheran, produced the broadcast, which includes Augustana College organist Christopher Nelson playing Christmas hymns, complete with lyrics provided for singing along at home. Augustana students read the Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke in English and Spanish. Bergendoff reads the passage in Swedish.

"We thought this would be an opportunity for people to once again hear this beloved leader's voice," Pedersen said. Bergendoff was an internationally acclaimed theologian and church historian. After retiring as its president, he remained active in college life until he died at age 102 in 1997.

Orion Methodist concert

The church recorded its virtual Christmas concert on Saturday afternoon, Dec. 12. The event featured organ and piano performances by Karl Bodenbender, Jane Meyer and Jed Poust, as well as handbell solos, duets and ensembles, and a Christmas hymn sing-along.

To see the video, go to Orion United Methodist Church’s Facebook page. Under the church’s name, press “More” and scroll down to “Videos.”

School concerts

Cambridge Elementary School’s holiday concert is available for viewing on MrsHiggsMusic Channel on YouTube. Look for “Cambridge Elementary School Christmas 2020.”

John Taylor produced “Cambridge Jr/Sr High School Music Department presents ‘Sounds of the Season’” for the John Taylor channel on YouTube. Recorded on two evenings at Cambridge High School, it features the junior high choir, sixth grade band, high school choir and high school band.

Orion High School and Orion Middle School bands and choirs recorded concert videos to be released around the time Christmas break began.

Augustana’s Christmas Eve

Augustana Lutheran Church will livestream its Christmas Eve service at 4 p.m. Dec. 24.

At 6 p.m., the church will have an in-person worship service outside the front doors of the church. Lasting 10 to 15 minutes, worshipers will hear the Christmas story, sing “Silent Night” by candlelight and receive a Communion kit to take home. Everyone attending the service is to wear a mask and practice social distancing.