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.

All Earth is Hopeful: Christmas from St. Olaf 2020

All Earth is Hopeful, is a digital concert featuring St. Olaf music ensembles celebrating the Advent-Christmas-Epiphany season. It premiered on Sunday, December 6, 2020

Although we were unable to gather in person in 2020 for the annual St. Olaf Christmas Festival, this musical program is intended to offer healing and hope to thousands during the holiday season. All Earth is Hopeful showcases music captured from recent Christmas Festival programs plus favorites from festivals not seen in many years.

Download the Program

Participating Ensembles

Massed Choirs of St. Olaf College

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. leads the St. Olaf Cantorei.

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.

St. Olaf Christmas Festival in the News