Boar’s Head Festival Relives Centuries Old Traditions December 1-3

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Starting December 1st, join us for the 40th annual Boar’s Head Festival.
Starting December 1st, join us for the 40th annual Boar’s Head Festival.

The 40th annual Boar’s Head Festival, a vibrant pageant that dates back to medieval times and professes the wonder of the Christmas miracle, will be staged December 1-3 at Concordia University Ann Arbor.

Tickets, priced from $8-$15, are on sale for this symbolic tradition to be presented in The Chapel of the Holy Trinity on the university’s main campus, 4090 Geddes Road. Students, faculty and staff will come together to re-enact a spectacle that blends medieval Christmas traditions and the story of Jesus Christ’s birth on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., or 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Initiated at Concordia University Ann Arbor in 1978 by professors Paul Foelber, John Sturmfels and Quentin Mario, the Boar’s Head Festival has become a treasured annual event. Theatre Department Director Gerard Dzuiblinski will direct, with Dr. Brian Altevogt serving as music director of a festival that originated in 1340 at Queen’s College in Oxford, England. For centuries it was only presented at Oxford and Cambridge Universities before being brought to the United States. Throughout the years, the Christian Church has transformed it into a celebration of the Nativity.

“Boar’s Head has given us a tremendous opportunity to connect with audiences who love Christmas music and pageantry,” Altevogt said. “For 40 years, people have come to the chapel where an already beautiful space is transformed through music, dance and theater into a meaningful event that will at times generate laughter, intimacy, joy, peace and awe.”

“The theatre department constantly strives to make the visuals and the acting match the beauty of the music,” Dzuiblinski said. “For this 40th festival, we truly hope to mold music, acting and prayer into a memorable experience for everyone.”

Altevogt, Concordia Ann Arbor’s music department chair, indicated he’s especially excited about this anniversary year since “it will allow us to reflect and consider how many lives have been touched through four decades of student and professional work.”“Friday’s performance will be particularly memorable,” he added, “as we bring back many alumni to sing in the choir and perform the roles of Herald and the wise men.”To reserve tickets, call 734-995-7537.

Other fine arts events during the next five weeks include:

The Concordia Wind and String Ensemble, Thursday, December 7, 8 p.m., Kreft Center Black Box Theatre, Dr. William Perrine, director. Free.

For more details on all upcoming fine arts events, visit www.cuaa.edu/music or call the Concordia Box Office at 734-995-7537.