Established in 1982 by a bequest from the late Harry Tosdal ’19 in memory of his wife Thora ’21, this professorship is designated to support the director of the St. Olaf Choir. Tosdal was a professor at the Harvard Business School and was internationally recognized for his work in the field of sales management. The endowed chair was inspired by the Tosdals’ deep appreciation for music and the St. Olaf Choir. Kenneth Jennings ’50 was first holder of this chair.
Dr. Armstrong ’78 has led the St. Olaf Choir on tours throughout the United States, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. For more than 20 years he served on the summer faculty of the American Boychoir School in Princeton and in 2001 he served as co-conductor of the World Youth Choir sponsored by the International Federation of Choral Music. In recent years Armstrong has guest-conducted such noted ensembles as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. In 2006 Baylor University named Armstrong the recipient of the 2006 Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching.