St. Olaf College | News

MPR piece provides first-person account of Christmas Festival

Students perform in the 2014 St. Olaf Christmas Festival.

“Now that I’ve attended the St. Olaf Christmas Festival, I feel like I understand a little bit more about my Minnesota neighbors and our peerless tradition of choral music — a tradition that’s especially treasured at the holidays,” Minnesota Public Radio digital producer Jay Gabler writes.

Gabler, who attended the St. Olaf Christmas Festival for the first time this year and wrote about the experience for Classical Minnesota Public Radio, notes that the event is “about as ancient as holiday celebrations get here in the bread basket of the New World.”

One of the oldest musical celebrations of Christmas in the United States, the St. Olaf Christmas Festival features more than 500 student musicians who are members of five choirs and the St. Olaf Orchestra.

“With 102 years of history, the Christmas Festival has become a cherished tradition for generations of Minnesotans — and, whether through travel or through American Public Media’s syndicated radio broadcasts, for people across the country,” Gabler writes.

A previous MPR piece looked at the lasting impressions Christmas Festival leaves on both visitors and participants alike.