Gift to make music ensemble international tours cost-free for students
St. Olaf College has received a $4.2 million gift commitment to create a new endowed fund that will support student travel costs for international music ensemble tours. Once the gift is fully funded, it will enable members of the St. Olaf Band, St. Olaf Choir, and St. Olaf Orchestra to tour internationally at no expense.
Two donors who have long supported and been inspired by St. Olaf’s music ensemble performances are making the gift. As a result, St. Olaf will become one of very few institutions that provide international tour opportunities for its premier ensemble members cost-free.
“We are deeply grateful for the profound impact this gift will have on our students and on St. Olaf College,” says President David R. Anderson ’74. “This generous commitment will ensure that our extraordinary student musicians can continue to share their music world-wide, and benefit from international travel, without financial burden.”
St. Olaf was among the first American colleges to tour a college musical organization overseas in 1906 when the St. Olaf Band first toured Norway. Now its three premier music ensembles — the St. Olaf Band, St. Olaf Choir, and St. Olaf Orchestra — tour domestically each year, and internationally once every four years. This provides the 75 to 95 members in each ensemble an opportunity to perform abroad while studying at St. Olaf.
Performing in world-class venues has been an exciting and distinctive part of St. Olaf’s ensemble programs — recent tours have gone to Argentina, Australia and New Zealand, and Japan and Korea. While existing travel scholarships provided aid, students have paid a significant portion of travel costs each tour.
This generous commitment will ensure that our extraordinary student musicians can continue to share their music world-wide, and benefit from international travel, without financial burden.President David R. Anderson ’74
Once it is fully funded over five years, the new gift, and matching funds authorized by St. Olaf’s Board of Regents, will fully support remaining travel costs.