Episode 14: Celebrating the Class of 2021
Stirring. Poignant. Restless. Reflective. Triumphant. These words, which have come to characterize this year, also fill the sounds of this episode. The selections, performed by the St. Olaf Band, St. Olaf Choir, and St. Olaf Orchestra, were voted on by this year’s class of graduating seniors. In these favorites, you’ll hear the fullness of the students’ emotional connection to their music, their conductors, each other, and the Hill. It’s all heart this time, and you may find you leave with a few new favorites of your own.
This episode premieres Sunday, June 6 at 3:30 p.m. CT
Episode 1: A St. Olaf Ensemble Showcase
In our first episode, we celebrate the excellent music made by this year’s ensembles before their concert season on campus came to an early end. You’ll hear well-known masterworks from the St. Olaf Orchestra and St. Olaf Philharmonia, exciting contemporary works from Norseman Band and the St. Olaf Band, beloved choral works with messages of comfort and renewal from the St. Olaf Choir, St. Olaf Cantorei, St. Olaf Chapel Choir, Viking Chorus, Manitou Singers, and Chamber Singers, and engaging selections from Collegium Musicum, the St. Olaf Handbell Choir and St. Olaf Jazz I.
The concert aired Sunday, May 3.
Episode 3: Speaking of Sacred Music
In this uplifting hour, join Associate Professor of Music, Jamie Bobb, for an exploration of sacred sounds from The Hill. Hear thoughtfully chosen works from an enticing array of choral and instrumental ensembles. Draw solace and energy from music that reminds us to listen for the sacred every day. Featured ensembles and musicians include: St. Olaf Cantorei, St. Olaf Chapel Choir, St. Olaf Choir, St. Olaf Handbell Choir, Manitou Singers, Francesca Anderegg, and the Massed Choir from the St. Olaf Christmas Festival.
The concert aired Sunday, May 17 at 3:30 p.m. CT.
Episode 4: Celebration Concert - St. Olaf Band, St. Olaf Choir, St. Olaf Orchestra
On a typical St. Olaf Commencement weekend, a Celebration Concert features the St. Olaf Band, St. Olaf Choir, and St. Olaf Orchestra. In this episode, which directly follows the Virtual Celebration for the Class of 2020 airing at 3 p.m. CT, we bring the spirit of that concert to a broader audience. Whether you’re joining us at home or work, in your car or outdoors, we invite you to celebrate the music made by these St. Olaf students and by the musicians in your own life.
The concert aired Sunday, May 24 at 3:30 p.m. CT.
Episode 5: Tesfa's Choral Gems
In our return episode, Tesfa Wondemagegnehu, Assistant Professor of Music and conductor of St. Olaf Chapel Choir and Viking Chorus, delivers a program loaded with some of his favorite choral performances in recent years. When we most need it, the right piece of music can smooth our ragged edges, fill our emotional tanks, and send us back into the world with more to give. You’ll hear well-known works from the St. Olaf Choir, exciting contemporary works from St. Olaf Chapel Choir and Viking Chorus, moving selections from recent Christmas Festivals featuring the St. Olaf Orchestra, and a few additional surprising selections.
This concert aired Sunday, September 27 at 3:30 p.m. CT.
Episode 6: Musical Collaborations
To watch a St. Olaf ensemble is to see musicians who breathe, move, and feel together. When well-matched guest artists are added to the equation, the effect can be electric. This week’s selections of memorable collaborations is presented by Dr. Arthur Haecker, Instructor of Trombone and Euphonium and Conductor of the Norseman Band. You’ll have the chance to hear St. Olaf choral and instrumental groups joined by Cantus, OneVoice, the Carleton Chamber Choir, trombonists Alaina Alster and Arthur Haecker, and more. Join us for a program that reminds us of the joy and energy possible through collaboration.
This concert aired Sunday, October 11 at 3:30 p.m. CT.
Episode 7: Remembrance, Hope, and Joy
Crossing. Spirit. Drive. Such one-word titles spark our imagination. This week’s program – co-hosted by Jill Mahr, Adjunct Instructor in Music and Director of the St. Olaf Handbell Choirs, and Timothy Mahr, Professor of Music and Conductor of the St. Olaf Band – creates space for us to reflect on a range of human experiences. Along with the ensembles directed by our hosts, you’ll hear contributions by the Viking Chorus, Manitou Singers, St. Olaf Chamber Singers, and St. Olaf Philharmonia that are equal parts empathy and energy.
This concert aired Sunday, October 25 at 3:30 p.m. CT.
Episode 8: Heart & Soul
“There are songs we sing from our heart and songs that inspire our soul.” This observation by Dr. Therees Tkach Hibbard — Associate Professor of Music and director of Manitou Singers and St. Olaf Chamber Singers — shaped this episode. It’s unfulfilled love in a traditional Arabic Muwushshah sung by the St. Olaf Chamber Singers and it’s the longing of lost lovers in the St. Olaf Orchestra’s “Turtledove.” It’s the soul in motion with Manitou Singers’ “Rise my Soul” and the St. Olaf Choir’s “My Soul’s Been Anchored in the Lord.” And, it’s the St. Olaf Band members adding their voices to the ethereal “Salvation is Created.” Join us for a wave of musical moments that quicken the heart and nourish the soul.
This concert aired Sunday, November 8 at 3:30 p.m. CT.
Episode 9: Invitation to the Dance
While there’s a time for sitting still and listening to music, this episode is not one of those times. Get ready to turn up the volume and tap your toes to selections from our co-hosts Steven Amundson, Professor of Music and Conductor of the St. Olaf Orchestra, and Martin Hodel, Professor of Music and Conductor of St. Olaf Philharmonia. Selections by these two orchestras — along with Viking Chorus, Manitou Singers, the St. Olaf Band and St. Olaf Choir — bring a delightful variety of dance tempos and moods. Experience the motion of a Yoruba carol and the grandeur of Hungarian folk dance; be moved by a melancholy waltz and smile at a sassy mambo. By the time the closing Mexican dance number starts up, you may just find you’re not even sitting at all.
This concert aired Sunday, November 22 at 3:30 p.m. CT.
Episode 10: Lift Every Voice And Sing - A Celebration of African American Music
Hosted by Dr. Anton Armstrong, the first episode of “Sounds from St. Olaf” in 2021 will honor Black History Month and lift up musical works that have been created or inspired by African Americans. Black history is American history, and Black composers have had an integral role in telling that history. Choral settings of African American spirituals honor those who were enslaved so we may never forget the injustices on which the United States were founded. Pieces from the American Civil Rights Movement honor those who marched for their rights in the face of great oppression. Throughout this skillfully curated program by Dr. Armstrong, conductor of the St. Olaf Choir, we are reminded that we must be diligent in our never ending quest for freedom, equality, and justice for all people.
This concert aired Sunday, February 14 at 3:30 p.m. CT.
Episode 11: Echoes from the Past: Early Music at St. Olaf
This episode’s elegant program spotlights the fine and long-standing tradition of early music at St. Olaf. We begin with graceful and stately Medieval and Renaissance works performed on historical instruments by the Viol Consort, Recorder Consort, and Wind Band, ensembles that — together with the Baroque Ensemble — comprise St. Olaf’s Collegium Musicum. From these same eras, we’ll hear the sweet and clear sounds of the St. Olaf Chamber Singers, St. Olaf Cantorei, and the St. Olaf Choir. Lively sounds from the Baroque era include the Baroque Ensemble, Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Trumpets performed by the St. Olaf Band and Philharmonia’s performance of Handel’s Music for Royal Fireworks. The episode is curated and hosted by Dana Maeda and Julie Elhard, directors of the St. Olaf Collegium Musicum, and by Dr. Therees Tkach Hibbard, conductor of the St. Olaf Chamber Singers and Manitou Singers.
This concert aired Sunday, March 7 at 3:30 p.m. CT.
Episode 12: Alleluia Is Restored! Musical Reflections for Easter Sunday
After a long winter, the arrival of spring pulses with life and promise. After the spare and reflective season of Lent in the Christian church, Easter bursts forth with jubilant alleluias and glorias. In this episode, Jamie Bobb — Associate Professor of Music and Conductor of the St. Olaf Cantorei — shares works by Jake Runestad, André Thomas, J.S. Bach, Gerald Finzi, and Gustav Mahler that capture the particular joy that comes out of suffering. Featured ensembles include the St. Olaf Choir, St. Olaf Chamber Singers, Carleton Chamber Choir, St. Olaf Cantorei, St. Olaf Chapel Choir, and St. Olaf Orchestra. The program closes with the stirring fifth movement of Mahler’s Symphony #2 “Resurrection,” calling us to “Rise again, yes, rise again… To bloom again you were sown!”
This concert aired Sunday, April 4 at 3:30 p.m. CT.
Episode 13: Great Guests
With each new episode of Sounds of St. Olaf, gems from the college’s
vast archives are selected and presented on a theme. For this program,
JC Sanford — director of the St. Olaf Jazz ensembles — has selected
memorable ensemble performances, each enlivened by the added twist of an
outstanding guest artist. Guests range from composers, conductors, and
soloists to the Ansan City Choir from South Korea. St. Olaf featured groups
include Jazz I, the St. Olaf Percussion Ensemble, the St. Olaf Band and
St. Olaf Choir, in one of our most varied and exciting programs to date.
This episode premiered Sunday, May 2 at 3:30 p.m. CT