The Viking Chorus of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, is a group of more than 80 first-year student men who have been organized to sing the highest quality literature. They perform a program of music that includes motets, cantata movements, and anthems, as well as contemporary choral pieces, spirituals, folksongs, and music traditionally associated with men’s singing groups.
The Viking Chorus was founded in 1935 by Luther Onerheim ’37, when a number of students gathered informally, flourishing for more than 30 years under student direction.
In 1968, Dr. Robert Scholz ’61 returned to St. Olaf, and was given leadership of this ensemble. Several years later, the Viking Chorus changed from a four-year ensemble to an ensemble open only to first-year men.
In 2005, Dr. Christopher Aspaas ’95 returned to St. Olaf and succeeded Dr. Scholz as conductor of the Viking Chorus (having sung in the ensemble as a first-year). In recent years the Viking Chorus has performed as a solo choir at the Associate Male Choruses of America Big Sing!, the Minnesota Music Educators Mid-Winter Clinic, the Intercollegiate Male Choruses Inc. National Seminar at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, and at the State Convention of the MN ACDA. In spring 2009, the Viking Chorus premiered a work by Mexican composer Jorge Cordoba Valencia in Orchestra Hall through the VocalEssence ¡Cantaré! project. They participate in many campus events, including the annual Christmas Festival, Choral Day, Family Weekend, and chapel services, as well as random acts of music across campus.
The VIKING CHORUS will:
– Sing at Family Weekend/Homecoming
– Perform as a solo choir for Choral Day
– Perform as a solo choir at Christmas Festival for 12,000 audience members and a national radio audience
– Perform a spring concert with the Manitou Singers
– Lead worship in Boe Chapel and throughout Minnesota
– Invade any and all parts of campus with song
– Emanate FERVOR!!!
Who is in Viking?
– 75+ first-year men
– more than 60% non-music majors
– Student athletes: football, track, cross-country, swimming, nordic skiing, and more
– Actors: roles and chorus members in theatre productions
– Members of student government and hall council
– Members of the St. Olaf Band, Norseman Band, St. Olaf Orchestra, Philharmonia, and the Jazz Ensembles
– Voice performance majors and guys with little or no experience in an organized choir
Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:30-5:30 p.m. (Studio A)
Thursdays from 4:50-5:45 p.m. (Boe Chapel)