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date: 08 March 2021

St. Olaf Collegelocked

  • Greg A. Handel


Lutheran liberal arts college in Northfield, Minnesota, founded in 1874. An orchestra was formed in 1888 and a band in 1891. Music instruction began in 1903, with degree credit for music awarded in 1916. F. Melius Christiansen, a Norwegian immigrant who founded the music department, founded a choir in 1912 in collaboration with St. John’s Lutheran Church in Northfield. Today the Department of Music is known for its seven choirs, two bands, and two full orchestras. The most famous of these, the St. Olaf Choir, has had only four directors in its history: F. Melius Christiansen (1912–43), his son Olaf C. Christiansen (1943–68), Kenneth L. Jennings (1968–90), and Anton E. Armstrong (1990–). In 2008 the department enrolled approximately 230 music majors in BM programs in church music, performance, and music education, and a BA in music. The department is also known for its annual Christmas Festival....

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