St. Olaf College | News

St. Olaf Choir reschedules national tour

The St. Olaf Choir performing at Carnegie Hall during their last tour in February 2020.

The St. Olaf Choir, conducted by Dr. Anton Armstrong ‘78, has rescheduled its 2022 National Tour across the Mid-Atlantic. The choir will perform in Chicago, East Lansing, Cincinnati, Nashville, Charlotte, Durham, Richmond, and Washington, D.C., beginning May 31, including a performance at the Strathmore cultural and artistic center. The choir’s appearance with the Tabernacle Choir in Salt Lake City has been rescheduled for May 1 with a public performance at First Presbyterian Church on April 30.

The choir typically launches its tour in late January, but this winter’s surge in COVID-19 cases and the college’s health and safety protocols prompted the cancellation of the original slate of concert dates. Tickets for the original concert dates have been refunded by St. Olaf or transferred to the new performances at the Cincinnati, Durham, or Bethesda, Maryland, venues. Tickets for the new St. Olaf Choir tour dates are on sale now, available online or by phone at 800-363-5487.

The new tour comes almost two and a half years after the choir celebrated its centennial tour at Carnegie Hall in 2020, just weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic jeopardized choral music on campus and around the world. The 2022 tour will include strict measures to provide the safest experience possible for the student musicians and their audiences. The St. Olaf Choir has set a gold standard for choral singing for more than a century, and the ensemble’s 75 singers and Armstrong are excited to resume the touring tradition.

St. Olaf Choir conductor Anton ArmstrongHearing the St. Olaf Choir in concert is more than just a musical experience. Our singers, performing at the highest artistic level, convey a message of hope. Our music provides a bridge to what can unite us at a time when the world is so divided. We often hear from concertgoers who tell us they are not only struck by the sound and uniformity of the St. Olaf Choir, but also by the earnestness of what comes through the voices of our young singers. Our singers touch the hearts and souls of listeners, and our audiences leave transformed.

The 2022 National Tour marks Anton Armstrong’s 32nd year as conductor of the St. Olaf Choir. He is the fourth conductor to lead the ensemble during its 110-year history. In addition to his role as a professor of music at St. Olaf College, he is in demand in the international choral scene as a guest conductor and lecturer. Like his three predecessors, Armstrong carries forward the international reputation of the St. Olaf Choir, an ensemble that is rooted in St. Olaf College’s tradition of faith and commitment to a global perspective.

The St. Olaf Choir’s musical selections for the tour reflect these values with a variety of both sacred and secular works. The program will include pieces by living and traditional composers, including Adolphus Hailstork, Mack Wilberg, Felix Mendelssohn, J.S. Bach, and St. Olaf Choir founder F. Melius Christiansen.

At every concert, the audience will be required to wear a mask for the duration of the performance. For the concerts at Michigan State University and at The Strathmore, proof of vaccination or a negative test within 72 hours is required at the door; more information can be found when purchasing tickets. The entire St. Olaf Choir and support staff are fully vaccinated and boosted, per St. Olaf College’s requirements.