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Concordia's annual holiday concert rings in the season

About 400 musicians will take part in the annual Concordia Christmas Concert, seen here in 2008. Forum News Service file photo

MOORHEAD, Minn. — The longest-running and biggest holiday event in the area kicks off this weekend with the Concordia Christmas Concert with the theme "For the Beauty of the Earth."

More of an institution than a collection of performed songs, the four concerts from Friday, Nov. 30, through Sunday, Dec. 2, will draw thousands from across the region. Two more concerts taking place Dec. 7 in Minneapolis will draw hundreds more fans.

Here’s a look at some other numbers behind the annual event as provided by Concordia College:

  • 569: Lighting channels to light up the concert. This includes 2,708 lighting parameters and 188 lights.
  • 400: The rough number of musicians performing in the concerts, with about 350 vocalists and 50 instrumentalists.
  • 200: Years since Franz Gruber first performed his composition, “Silent Night.” The number is a crowd favorite and returns to this year’s concert.
  • 176: The length of the mural in feet, almost the length of two basketball courts. The mural is comprised of 44 panels, the tallest of which reaches 28 feet high.
  • 92: Number of years the annual concert has been held. It started as an extension of the Concordia Music Club, with the first concert performed in the Old Main’s chapel. In 1928, it was moved to Moorhead’s Trinity Lutheran Church. In 1952, it moved back to campus in the new Memorial Auditorium.
  • Dozens: Number of Norwegian sweaters you'll likely spot in the audience.
  • 5: Roughly the number of years between recordings of the concert.
  • 3: Number of conductors (René Clausen, Michael Culloton, and Kevin F.E. Sütterlinfor) directing all of the musicians. Clausen is only the second conductor of the Concordia Choir in the past 80 years, taking over for Paul J. Christiansen in 1986.
  • 1: Tintinnabula Handbell Choir that does a pre-concert show in the Offutt Concourse before each concert.
If you go

What: Concordia Christmas Concert

When: 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3

Where: Memorial Auditorium, Concordia College, Moorhead

Info: Tickets are $22; 888-477-0277 or www.concordiacollege.edu/music/christmas-concert

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