Christmas with Wartburg 2016

Christmas with Wartburg 2016

The talents of more than 300 students will be on display Dec. 1-3 during the 70th annual Christmas with Wartburg.

Tickets sales begin Monday, Oct. 16 for shows Saturday, Dec. 2, at 3 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 3, at 3 p.m., in Wartburg College’s Neumann Auditorium, as well as Friday, Dec. 1, at 7:30 p.m., at Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines.

This year’s production, “From Heaven Above,” is based on a Christmas hymn penned by Martin Luther. The theme is a nod to the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, which the college is celebrating throughout 2017 and 2018.

“We have a unique opportunity to celebrate the Christmas story through the words and music of Martin Luther’s hymn and Christmas sermons,” said Lee Nelson, Christmas with Wartburg artistic director and professor of music. “I began working on this theme about four years ago, and I am excited to see all of the pieces come together in such a meaningful way.”

Six Wartburg musical groups will perform: the Wartburg Choir, Wind Ensemble, Castle Singers, Ritterchor men’s choir, the all-female St. Elizabeth Chorale and Kammerstreicher (a string orchestra).

Nelson will direct the Wartburg Choir and Ritterchor. Craig Hancock, professor of music, will direct the Wind Ensemble. Mark Lehmann, lecturer in voice, will conduct the Castle Singers. Karen Black, professor of music, will direct the St. Elizabeth Chorale. Jacob Tews, assistant professor of music, will direct Kammerstreicher.

Illuminating the concert will be a new mural designed by Chris Knudson, a 2001 Wartburg graduate and the college’s director of marketing and communication. In addition to references to Luther, the mural also features the seven corporal works of mercy from Matthew.

This year’s production is made possible, in part, through the support of Sukup Manufacturing.

Tickets are $18 for all Waverly performances and $20 for the West Des Moines performance. Meals will be offered in Waverly on Saturday and Sunday at 5 p.m. for an additional cost. Concert and meal tickets can be purchased online at, from 10 a.m. to noon weekdays at the ticket office in Saemann Student Center or by calling 319-352-8691 during ticket office hours.