For many people, over several generations, the celebration of the Advent – Christmas – Epiphany season begins with the annual St. Olaf Christmas Festival, a century-old tradition of the college.
begun as a musical program for the college community, planned and directed by F. Melius Christiansen, founder of the St. Olaf Music Department.
guests will attend the Festival concerts and special events.
student musicians will participate as members of the five Choirs and Orchestra.
Each group participates individually and as part of a Massed Ensemble. Anton Armstrong ’78 is Artistic Director of the Festival and Conductor of the St. Olaf Choir. Tesfa Wondemagegnehu is conductor of the Chapel Choir and Viking Chorus. Therees Tkach Hibbard conducts the Manitou Singers. Guest conductor Allyss Haecker leads the St. Olaf Cantorei for this year’s performance.
The St. Olaf Orchestra, regarded as one of the finest collegiate orchestras in the United States, is conducted by Steven Amundson.
Visual Designer of the Festival is Christie Hawkins. Matthew Marohl is College Pastor and also serves on the artistic team.
Participating EnsemblesLearn more about music at St. Olaf College
More than 100 St. Olaf College singers descended on Southdale Center in Minnesota for a joyous pop-up performance that provided onlookers with a preview of that year’s St. Olaf Christmas Festival.
The students sang a mashup of Oba Se Je (Here Comes the King) and Joy to the World while hundreds of people looked on. Many said the performance offered a much-needed moment of beauty and grace in their lives as they anticipated the holiday season.