Go Tell It On The Mountain: The Holiday Festival Concert Has Returned

Alexandra Wagner, Managing Editor, A & E

The holidays would not be complete without the plethora of joyous music that plays constantly until February. But holiday music lovers beware: their stockings could be stuffed with banana bread wrappers if they press shuffle on that Spotify playlist before Thanksgiving. Nonetheless, the public has long awaited a live concert to share the holiday spirit with anyone besides their cutout of Buddy the Elf, and holiday concerts in the city are finally bouncing back. 

One concert that has Rudolph running into town is the annual Holiday Festival Concert at Augsburg University put on by local Suzuki-trained musicians. While the program put on a heartwarming virtual concert in December 2020, playing violin with thirty other students on mute did not feel quite the same. Students involved in the program often find this concert to be a favorite, and they are just as excited to play together each year as they are to perform for the public. 

The group typically takes a trip to Abbott Hospital in December to play the concert list for passersby in the hospital lobby, many of whom stop to take videos and listen to the thirty-minute concert. Some of the older students travel to different departments in the hospital to play for patients. 

One year, a small group that performed on the cardiac floor received a handwritten note as they were about to return back to the lobby. The request asked for the three violinists to play a short piece for a 102-year-old Holocaust survivor in one of the nearby rooms. The memory of this moment, for both the patient and the performers, would last a lifetime. 

Unfortunately, the hospital performance will likely be postponed for yet another year. 

“I’m not sure about the hospital concert since COVID-19 cases are still high, and hospitals are the most vulnerable place for [the virus] to spread,” says Allison Britzius, ‘26, a member of the Augsburg University Suzuki Talent Education program. 

While performing for hospital patients may be off the table, the performance group still looks forward to playing for a live audience. 

“I’m really excited to finally be able to have a concert again since COVID,” says Britzius. 

Several students throughout the district will be performing. 

One of the top ensemble’s favorite pieces, “Sleigh Ride,” has new violinists ecstatic.

“I’m excited to play ‘Sleigh Ride’ since I’ve always loved that song since I was little,” Britzius said. 

Other favorites include the “Hanukkah Medley” by Amir Kats and the “Holiday Medley” by Michael McLean, two pieces written specifically for the program. 

The concert is December 12, 2021 at 4:30pm. Contact [email protected] for tickets and more information. The musicians hope to see as many MHS students as possible there.