Cherry Finalist to Discuss Vocation of Pastoral Musician

Oct. 28, 2005

Dr. Anton Armstrong, Tosdal Professor of Music at St. Olaf College in Minnesota and a finalist for Baylor University's 2006 Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching, will lecture on "Vocation and Music Education: Our Calling as Pastoral Musicians" from 4 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1, in Meadows Recital Hall on campus.

Armstrong, who also serves as conductor of the famed St. Olaf's Choir, received a bachelor's of music in vocal performance from St. Olaf College, a master's degree in choral music from the University of Illinois and a doctorate in choral conducting from Michigan State University.

After serving on the faculty at Calvin College, Armstrong returned to St. Olaf in 1990. As conductor of the St. Olaf Choir, he has toured throughout the United States and to Denmark, Norway, Australia, New Zealand and Central Europe. Together with the St. Olaf Orchestra, the choir also was heard live on a national broadcast of Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion" radio program. The choir has recorded 11 CDs during Armstrong's tenure as conductor.

In recent years he has guest conducted such noted ensembles as the Utah Symphony and Symphony Chorus, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. He has collaborated in concert with Bobby McFerrin and Garrison Keillor and is active as a guest conductor and lecturer throughout North America, Europe, Scandinavia, Korea, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and the Caribbean.

Armstrong is widely recognized for his work with youth and children's choral music. He began his tenure as conductor of the Oregon Bach Festival Youth Choral Academy in June 1998. In the summer of 2001, he served as co-conductor of the World Youth Choir sponsored by the International Federation of Choral Music. He served for more than 20 years on the summer faculty of the American Boychoir School in Princeton, N.J., and was conductor of the St. Cecilia Youth Chorale, a 75-voice treble chorus based in Grand Rapids, Mich., from 1981 to 1990.

The Cherry finalists each will receive $15,000 and will present a series of lectures at Baylor during the fall. Each will present a Cherry Award Lecture on their home campuses during the upcoming academic year. The home department of the finalists also will receive $10,000 to foster the development of teaching skills.

The other Cherry finalists are William Cook, Distinguished Teaching Professor of History at State University of New York at Geneseo, and Dr. Robert Brown, Institute Professor in the department of physics at Case Western Reserve. Both delivered their Cherry lectures earlier this month.

For more information, call 710-2923.

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