Anton Armstrong, Conductor
I want the power of music—that Spirit—to transform those who perform and those who will hear the message. For me, that is a very powerful reason for doing what we do.Anton Armstrong
Anton Armstrong ’78, Tosdal Professor of Music at St. Olaf College, became the fourth conductor of the St. Olaf Choir in 1990 after ten years in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he served on the faculty of Calvin College and led the Calvin College Alumni Choir, the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus and the St. Cecilia Youth Chorale. He is a graduate of St. Olaf College and earned advanced degrees at the University of Illinois (MM) and Michigan State University (DMA). He is editor of a multicultural choral series for Earthsongs Publications and co-editor (with John Ferguson) of the revised St. Olaf Choral Series for Augsburg Fortress Publishers. In June 1998, he began his tenure as founding conductor of the Oregon Bach Festival Stangeland Family Youth Choral Academy.
During the 2019-20 season Anton Armstrong will be serving as Conductor of the Indonesia Youth Choir and a member of the Choral Jury for the 8th Bali International Choir Festival, in Bali, Indonesia. Dr. Armstrong has been selected as Conductor of the 2019 Utah All-State Choir and will be a featured clinician at the 2020 ACDA North Central/Central Conference, Milwaukee, WI. Additionally, he will lead choral festivals at Carnegie Hall, New York, NY; Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Nashville, TN; and Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, CA. Other guest conducting/lecturing engagements in 2019-20 include appearances at Westminster Choir College, Princeton, New Jersey; guest conductor of the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square; Headline Clinician for the Michigan ACDA in Kalamazoo, MI; Trinity Christian College, Palos Heights, IL; California Baptist University, Riverside, CA; and further appearances in Tennessee and North Carolina. The St. Olaf Choir and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra will be joining forces to present performances of the Mozart Requiem in May 2020 at the Cathedral of St. Paul and the Ordway Concert Hall., St. Paul, MN.
In March 2017, The St. Olaf Christmas Festival, one of the oldest musical celebrations of Christmas in the United States begun in 1912 by F. Melius Christiansen, founder of the St. Olaf College Music Department was featured by invitation in two major performances at the National Conference of the American Choral Directors Association at Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis, MN. Since 1990, Anton Armstrong has served as Artistic Director of the St. Olaf Christmas Festival which features nearly 600 student musicians who are members of five St. Olaf choral ensembles and the St. Olaf Orchestra.
In January 2006, Baylor University selected Anton Armstrong from a field of 118 distinguished nominees to receive the Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching. He spent February-June 2007 in residency at Baylor University as a visiting professor. In March 2007 Anton Armstrong was the first recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the American Boychoir School and in October 2009 he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Michigan State University. In June 2013 Dr. Armstrong received the Saltzman Award from the Oregon Bach Festival. The festival’s highest honor, the Saltzman Award is bestowed upon individuals who have provided exceptional levels of leadership to the organization. In the fall of 2014, The St. Olaf Choir and Dr. Armstrong received a Regional Emmy for the PBS television program Christmas in Norway with The St. Olaf Choir.
Press contact: Connor Smith
For press materials, visit Press, Media, and Volunteer Resources.