Preparations begin for Christmas with Wartburg

Richard Bett, print shop coordinator (left), Hans Pregler (center) and Chris Knudson (right) are printing decorations for Christmas with Wartburg. —Submitted photo

The Neumann crew is already building this year’s Christmas with Wartburg set.

Although September has almost ended, Hans Pregler said the  designing and building of the set has been happening for a long time.

Pregler is Wartburg’s production manager and one third of the Christmas with Wartburg design team.

“We have meetings in the summer to come up with ideas and the jokes that go around are actually what become,” Pregler said. “Some are kind of ridiculous. We say next year Christmas with Wartburg should be in 3D.”

Pregler said the set is driven by the theme. This year’s theme is Christ the Rose.

Lee Nelson and Chris Knudson are the other creative team members for CWW. This is the second year Knudson has designed the large backdrop and central set piece to the show.

“The mural and technique is completely different from last year. It will be much more bright, lots of very vivid colors. The whole point of the mural is to illuminate the script, to give a visual to the music,” Knudson said.

Nelson is the CWW artistic director who brings all the different pieces together to form the production.

“I’m always excited about Christmas with Wartburg. I am so passionate about the concert and the whole experience. This year I am really excited about the theme, using the symbolism of Christ as the Christmas rose,” Nelson said.

Nelson said the theme allows for amazing imagery in the backdrop which is inspired by Isaiah 11.

Knudson said there is a lot of symbolism in the backdrop making the mural more artistic. The Christmas story will not be as obvious from the mural this year as it was last year.

Pregler said there are some new elements the Neumann Crew is trying out for this year’s show. Theyhave added a new style of light and there will be a surprise building effect.

A lot of work has already gone into the production and with the students on Neumann beginning to help, Pregler predicts for every minute of the show there will be two hours of preparation that go behind it.

Nelson said they are definitely ahead of schedule this year compared to the past four years.

“The whole artistic side is already put together. We are in great shape,” Nelson said.

Knudson said, before last year’s CWW was done they were already talking about the 2012 performance.

Pregler said Neumann Crew began to physically build the set a week ago and will begin changing around the auditorium the second week of November.

“The feedback we get from people has been incredible and it’s something that makes our program distinctive,” Knudson said. “It gives the audience something extra special that they can look forward to every single year.”

Both Pregler and Nelson said the show is getting better and better every year. They suggest customers to get their tickets early.

“It’s always been a beautiful tradition, but the interest in this concert, this kind of reinvention of Christmas with Wartburg, has really inspired people,” Nelson said.

Tickets go on sale November 5 and can be ordered by phone at 319-352-8691.

Leave a Reply