The St. Olaf Christmas Festival is one of the oldest musical celebrations of Christmas in the United States. Started in 1912 by F. Melius Christiansen, founder of the St. Olaf College Music Department, the festival features more than 500 student musicians who are members of five choirs and the St. Olaf Orchestra.
Participating choral ensembles include the St. Olaf Choir, conducted by Anton Armstrong ’78; Viking Chorus and Chapel Choir, both conducted by Mark Stover ’01; Cantorei, conducted by James Bobb; and Manitou Singers, conducted by Therees Hibbard. The St. Olaf Orchestra is conducted by Steven Amundson. Each group performs individually and as part of a mass ensemble.
The festival, which is regularly broadcast nationwide on public television and radio, has been featured nationally in such publications as TV Guide, Entertainment Weekly, the Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times.