St. Olaf College | News

Armstrong to guest conduct Grammy Award-winning Phoenix Chorale

Anton Armstrong ’78, shown here leading the renowned St. Olaf Christmas Festival, will guest conduct five performances of “A Chorale Christmas” in Arizona this December.

St. Olaf Choir Conductor Anton Armstrong ’78 will guest conduct the Grammy Award-winning Phoenix Chorale’s 60th anniversary Christmas concerts this December.

Armstrong, the Harry R. and Thora H. Tosdal Professor of Music at St. Olaf College, will conduct five performances of “A Chorale Christmas” in Arizona December 14-18 — just a few weeks after he wraps up conducting at the renowned St. Olaf Christmas Festival on campus.

The Phoenix Chorale is regarded as one of the finest choral ensembles in North America. The 28-voice chorus has performed across the U.S. and in Canada, and is known for its exquisite interpretations of a wide range of choral repertoire. Founded in 1958 by a small study group of singers, the Phoenix Chorale now has multiple recordings, two Grammy awards, and a devoted following of millions of listeners around the world.

In celebration of its 60th anniversary, the Phoenix Chorale has produced a season of special performances that includes having Armstrong, a preeminent choral conductor who serves as the artistic director of the internationally renowned St. Olaf Christmas Festival, lead its annual holiday concerts.

Armstrong has served on the St. Olaf music faculty and conducted the St. Olaf Choir for nearly three decades. He has led the St. Olaf Choir on tours throughout the United States, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, and he has guest-conducted such noted ensembles as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Westminster Choir, the American Boychoir, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Baylor University named Armstrong the recipient of the 2006 Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching.

A graduate of St. Olaf, Armstrong earned graduate degrees at the University of Illinois and Michigan State University. He is a distinguished leader in the choral field, serving on the boards of trustees for Chorus America and the American Boychoir School, as well as co-chair for the Artistic Committee for the World Symposium of Choral Music held in Seoul, Korea.