St. Olaf College | News

Musical moments

At St. Olaf College, music sings and plays its way into campus life every day, in almost every way.

Music has taken Oles around the world, and it has provided powerful performance opportunities right here on campus.

As more than 500 student musicians prepare to perform in the nationally renowned St. Olaf Christmas Festival, two Oles who toured Norway with the St. Olaf Choir and St. Olaf Orchestra share the impact of musical moments near and far.

Jake Ingalls ’19, a tuba player for the St. Olaf Orchestra, and Thea Lund ’19, an alto in the St. Olaf Choir, say the experiences they’ve had touring and performing have had a lasting impact.

“It’s been pretty amazing getting to see all these different places and do all this traveling, playing amazing halls,” Ingalls says, noting that he was able to perform in Carnegie Hall with the St. Olaf Orchestra just months before touring Norway with the ensemble. “But really I’ve loved the music … We come together to make incredible music that many other ensembles elsewhere don’t get the chance to perform.”

You can hear more of that music December 5–8 at the St. Olaf Christmas Festival. The theme of this year’s program is “A New Song of Grace and Truth.”

First held in 1912, the St. Olaf Christmas Festival is one of the oldest musical celebrations of Christmas in the United States. Led by five conductors, it features a rich repertoire of classic Advent and Christmas compositions, familiar carols, hymns from around the world, and contemporary pieces from a diverse range of composers and cultures, offering music that both celebrates the Norwegian American history of the college while also highlighting beautiful works from around the globe. It traditionally closes with the hymn “Beautiful Savior.”