St. Olaf Choir to perform at Goshen College Feb. 8

Concert: St. Olaf Choir
Date and time: Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
Location: Sauder Concert Hall, Goshen College Music Center
Tickets: $30 adults, $10 students. Available online or by contacting the Goshen College Welcome Center (574-535-7566,

The St. Olaf Choir will come to Goshen College for a concert in the Music Center’s Sauder Concert Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m. as part of their 2017 winter tour.

Tickets are $30 for adults and $10 for students, and can be purchased through the Goshen College Welcome Center (574-535-7566, or online at

The widely acclaimed a cappella ensemble has toured annually since 1912, when it was founded by F. Melius Christiansen. The 1920 tour to the major music centers of the East Coast sowed the seeds of the ensemble’s national reputation and established its unaccompanied style of singing as a significant force in American choral music.

Anton Armstrong has served as conductor of the St. Olaf Choir since 1990. A 1978 bachelor of music graduate of St. Olaf College (where he was a member of the choir he now leads), Armstrong later earned a master of music degree in choral music from the University of Illinois and a doctor of musical arts degree in choral conducting from Michigan State University. He returned to St. Olaf after 10 years on the faculty at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Armstrong is well aware of the St. Olaf Choir’s history and its place in American choral tradition. His D.M.A. thesis was devoted to “Celebrating 75 Years of Musical Excellence: The Evolution of the St. Olaf Choir.”

Under the adept direction of Olaf C. Christiansen ’25 (who succeeded his father in 1941), Kenneth Jennings ’50 (who led the ensemble from 1968 to 1990), and Armstrong ’78, the St. Olaf Choir has inspired and entertained audiences around the world. The St. Olaf Choir has performed under such notable conductors as Sir Neville Mariner, Osmo Vänskä, Neemi Järvi, Sir David Willcocks, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Helmuth Rilling, and the late Robert Shaw, and it continues to make frequent appearances with the Minnesota Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

The St. Olaf Choir is acclaimed internationally, the result of 14 tours to Europe, Asia, and the Pacific Rim. In 1988 the ensemble was one of only five choirs in the world invited to participate in the Seoul Olympic Arts Festival in South Korea. In 1993 the choir completed a 21-day concert tour to New Zealand and Australia. In 2001 it embarked on a 21-day concert tour to France, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. In 2005 the St. Olaf Choir joined the St. Olaf Band and the St. Olaf Orchestra on a 21-day concert tour of Norway to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Norway’s independence. In June 2009 the St. Olaf Choir made its first concert tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland. In June, 2013, the St. Olaf Choir re-created the 1913 Norwegian tour that was the first international trip under F. Melius Christiansen.

A television broadcast of the St. Olaf Choir’s 2013 performance in the 950-year-old Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, Norway, won two regional Emmy® awards. Produced by Twin Cities Public Television, PBS aired the one-hour television special, Christmas in Norway with the St. Olaf Choir, as part of their 2013 holiday programming. The program was also included in the 2014 holiday schedule.

The choir’s growing discography features more than 25 recordings, including Christmas in Norway with the St. Olaf Choir, Norge Mitt Norge, The Spirituals of William L. Dawson, Advance Australia Fair; Repertoire for Mixed Voices, Vol. I and II; and the popular three volume series Great Hymns of Faith.