Faculty and staff give virtual Christmas concert

Several Judson faculty and staff members shared their musical gifts in a virtual Christmas concert for the Judson community this week. Musicians from the Departments of Music, Religious Studies, and Distance Learning met in Alumnae Auditorium to record a video playlist of some of their favorite Christmas songs to share online.

“Like so many colleges and universities this year, our semester didn’t end the way we had hoped,” said Stephanie Peek, Head of the Religious Studies Department at Judson. According to the College’s COVID-19 plans, fall semester classes were to end at Thanksgiving, but instruction moved online a few weeks earlier due to lingering effects of Hurricane Zeta in the Marion, Alabama, area. Jessica Spafford, Head of the Music Department, said that, since the Judson community had missed its traditional Christmas celebrations, such as Christmas Tea, Vespers, and departmental Christmas parties, “we thought…it might be nice to share the talents of some of our faculty and staff with you this Christmas.”

Performers were: Leah Washburn, Assistant Director of Distance Learning; Jessica Spafford, Head of the Music Department; Stephanie Peek, Head of the Religious Studies Department; Jason Aylward, Adjunct Professor of Music; and Miriam Nicholson, Collaborative Pianist. Accompaniment featured such varied instruments as piano, trumpet, and guitar, and songs ranged from well-known tunes to new favorites. Traditional Christmas hymns such as “The First Noel”, “O Holy Night,” and “Go, Tell it on the Mountain” shared the stage with familiar secular favorites such as “White Christmas”, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, and “The Christmas Song.” Classical renditions of Handel’s “Let the Bright Seraphim” and “Hallelujah Chorus” kept company with “Mary, Did You Know?”, “Grown-Up Christmas List”, and “The Twelve Days after Christmas”.

Reflecting the playful tone of several tunes in their playlist, the group donned festive hats and headbands.

“We hope that this playlist brings a little bit of Judson to your home this Christmas,” said Peek, “and that it reminds us all of the real reason for the season: that, regardless of how difficult this year has been, God is with us, and He will make all things new.”

Find the Virtual Christmas Concert playlist on Judson College’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/judsoncollegeal.