St. Olaf Choir to perform at Roberts Wesleyan College

By on January 20, 2020
Conductor Anton Armstrong.

Conductor Anton Armstrong.

The St. Olaf Choir has just embarked on its 15-city 2020 National Winter Tour, commemorating the 100th anniversary of its ground-breaking first national tour to the East Coast. The tour includes a concert at Andrews B. Hale Auditorium in the Roberts Cultural Life Center at Roberts Wesleyan College on Tuesday, February 4, at 7 p.m. 

“Hearing the St. Olaf Choir in concert is more than just a musical experience,” says conductor Anton Armstrong. “Our singers, performing at the highest artistic level, convey a message of hope. Our music provides a bridge to what can unite us at a time when the world is so divided. We often hear from concertgoers who tell us they are not only struck by the sound and uniformity of the St. Olaf Choir, but also by the earnestness of what comes through the voices of our young singers. Our singers touch the hearts and souls of listeners, and our audiences leave transformed.”

The 2020 National Tour also marks Anton Armstrong’s 30th year as conductor of the St. Olaf Choir, only the fourth to lead the ensemble during its 108-year history. In addition to his role as a professor of music at St. Olaf College, he is in demand in the international choral scene as a guest conductor and lecturer. Like his three predecessors, Armstrong carries forward the international reputation of the St. Olaf Choir, an ensemble that is rooted in St. Olaf College’s tradition of faith and commitment to a global perspective.

For this tour, Armstrong has assembled a program that draws from the St. Olaf Choir’s history, as well as includes contemporary works by composers who have had strong ties to the St. Olaf Choir. A champion of music from cultures around the world, Armstrong has programmed music – both sacred and secular – that range from works by the Renaissance Jewish composer Salamone Rossi to Jordanian-born Shireen Abu Khader. The concert program is divided into four sections: Songs for Praise and Rejoicing, Songs of Adoration, Songs of Justice and Compassion, and Songs of Love and Hope.  

Joining the St. Olaf Choir on their tour is violinist and violist Charles Gray, professor of music at St. Olaf College. He will lead a 12-person chamber ensemble that will perform with the choir. A former member of the Rochester Philharmonic, Gray is currently a substitute member of the Minnesota Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Tickets for the February 4 concert, priced at $26 to $34 for adults and $10 for students, are available at stolaf.edu/tickets or by calling 800-363-5487 ($5 transaction fee will be added to all phone orders).

Provided information and photos

The St. Olaf Choir will perform at Roberts Wesleyan College on February 4.

The St. Olaf Choir will perform at Roberts Wesleyan College on February 4.