Robyn Sand Anderson '79 to create 'Christmas at Luther' concert set

Nov. 5, 2009

Luther College has commissioned artist Robyn Sand Anderson to create the set for the college’s nationally acclaimed “Christmas at Luther” concert for 2009.

Sand Anderson, a 1979 Luther alumna whose studio is in New Ulm, Minn., has designed the backdrop for the Center for Faith and Life concert hall where five performances of “Christmas at Luther” will be presented Dec. 3-6.

The set is designed on a “Joy to the World” theme, said Sand Anderson. As she listened to recordings of the six major pieces that will be performed at the 2009 concert, she said she envisioned and sketched the set, which will be a triptych design. She said her goal is to enhance the choral experience with her visual interpretation.

“I often find inspiration for my theological paintings from word and music,” Sand Anderson said. “The combination of scripture and music with visual art can be very powerful.”

Sand Anderson, whose hometown is Decorah, Iowa, said she has dreamed for many years of creating the backdrop for the “Christmas at Luther” concert.

“Christmas at Luther,” a musical celebration of the joy, faith and traditions of Christmas, is performed annually on the Luther campus. The 2008 concert was recorded and produced by Twin Cities Public Television and was broadcast as a PBS Holiday Special on more than 100 public television stations across the country.

The concert showcases 600-plus musicians of the college’s vocal and instrumental music ensembles, including performances by the Nordic Choir under the direction of Craig Arnold, Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Daniel Baldwin, Cathedral Choir and Aurora under the direction of Sandra Peter, Cantorei under the direction of Linda Martin, Collegiate Chorale and Norsemen under the direction of Timothy Peter, Christmas Brass and Percussion Ensemble under the direction of Frederick Nyline, and Luther Handbell Choir under the direction of Gregory Peterson. Peterson is also the concert organist.

The 2009 “Christmas at Luther” concert will be aired on Minnesota Public Radio, and the 2008 concert television production will again be shown on most PBS stations. Check local listings for dates and times.

Photo by Sean M. Anderson