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Home Arts & Culture Reformation caroling brings musical joy to professors, pastors

Photo description: Fifteen students sing hymns outside the homes of professors and pastors for their annual Reformation caroling event

Photo credit: Nora Betts

Nora Betts

Sower Staff


Concordia students serenaded professors and pastors outside their homes with “Reformation caroling” on the evening of the Protestant Reformation’s 506th anniversary.

Students drove around Seward on Oct. 31 and sang for six Concordia professors and one pastor from St. John Lutheran Church. They visited the homes of Dr. Andrew Langewisch, Dr. Jeffrey Blersch, Dr. Joseph Herl, professor Robert Cody, professor Jessica Kite, Rev. Dr. John Genter and pastor Nathan Scheck.

If the intended listeners were not home, the students sang to their families or neighbors.

Senior math major and A Cappella Choir member Nathaniel Mueller says Reformation caroling brings joy to everyone who hears it.

“Professors, pastors and other people we go to sing to really appreciate it,” Mueller said. “Some of them look forward to it every year.”

Scheck was not home when the students arrived, so they sang to a neighbor who was eagerly waiting for the event. The neighbor said she remembered last year’s Reformation caroling and watched the sidewalk so she wouldn’t miss the carolers. She turned on her porch light and videotaped the students singing in her front yard.

The carolers sang two hymns from the Lutheran Service Book: “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” and “Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word.” They alternated between hymns at each house and sang a cappella in four-part harmony.

The students also visited the Borland Center for Music and Theatre, where they sang for Dr. Kurt von Kampen before his Chamber Choir rehearsal.

Junior Isabella Peperkorn said the event is run by organ students as well as other church music students. Peperkorn is a studio art major and is in the Cantamus Women’s Choir. She said she got involved with Reformation caroling thanks to her older sister, who was an organist.

Peperkorn said Reformation caroling is how she first bonded with organ students — who are dubbed the “organ cult” — and other hymn-loving Lutheran students.

“Reformation caroling is a great time for a very niche group of Lutherans from campus to spread our Lutheran pride to professors and pastors,” said Peperkorn. “This is my third year going, and I can confidently say that this is the event that made me feel like I belonged on campus with these people.”

Another participant was sophomore Grace Donnelly, a music education major, organist and member of the Cantamus Women’s Choir and Wind Symphony. She said she enjoys the bonding experience of Reformation caroling.

“It’s a nice way to go do something fun and meaningful with your friends after a busy Tuesday,” said Donnelly.

Peperkorn said she loves the event and wants it to continue every year. “It’s a beautiful tradition that I hope will continue for many years to come,” she said.

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