More than 100 years ago St. Olaf College invited F. Melius Christiansen to its campus to build a music program. Since that initial collaboration, the stories of both the college and its music program have become inseparable. Through the generous support provided by the college’s leaders throughout the 20th century, the Music Department at St. Olaf grew into one of the largest among undergraduate liberal arts colleges in the United States. More important than its size, however, is its quality. The St. Olaf music program provides a rigorous and comprehensive education in music with deep roots in the liberal arts. Our program offers a distinguished and committed faculty, a rich and challenging curriculum, outstanding performance opportunities, and a large community of talented and intelligent student musicians.

The St. Olaf Music Department melds into one program the best of the conservatory and the liberal arts models of music study at one of the leading undergraduate liberal arts colleges in the country. Students who are not majors in music play an important role in this philosophy of a blended model of music education. Approximately one-third of the St. Olaf student body participates in music on some level. Honoring this tradition, our music scholarships provide important recognition of outstanding musical talent in both music majors and non-music majors. Should you choose to major in music, you will study and make music as one of a select group of students, chosen by audition to determine who will best meet the academic and performance challenges encountered by St. Olaf music majors. St. Olaf has many exciting elements for you to discover, and we are pleased that you are interested in learning more about them.

We look forward to receiving your audition materials.

Justin Merritt

Professor of Music
Chair, Music Department