St. Olaf Choir Will Perform A Cappella Spiritual Arrangement at Baylor on Feb. 4

Jan. 29, 2016
St. Olaf ChoirSt. Olaf Choir courtesy photo.

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WACO, Texas (Jan. 29, 2016) – The St. Olaf Choir, a famous a cappella choir, will perform at Baylor at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4 in the Jones Concert Hall of Glennis McCrary Music Building.

The 75-voice choir has a mission "to provide music of the highest quality that lifts people’s hearts and spirits, incorporating a diversity of voices and cultural traditions into the chorus of the Christian faith," according to its website.

Randall Bradley, D.M.A., the Ben H. Williams Professor of Music for the School of Music and director of the church music program, described the St. Olaf Choir as "one of America's national treasures."

"Their programs are always a delicate balance of traditional choral works performed with the finest interpretation and finesse and of newer more contemporary works presented with equal attention to detail," he said. "Their sound is considered unique and idiomatic."

The choir’s sound is so well-known that other choirs might even be described as having a “St. Olaf” sound, Bradley said.

The choir has been conducted by Anton Armstrong since 1990. Armstrong, only the fourth conductor of the St. Olaf Choir since its founding in 1912, was the winner of Baylor's Robert Foster Cherry Award in 2006 and taught a semester at the university in 2007.

"Baylor’s relationship with Dr. Anton Armstrong, past Cherry Teaching Award recipient, runs deep," Bradley said. "Those of us who were at Baylor when he spent a semester on our campus are grateful for the lasting campus-wide impact that his presence made. His work is recognized around the world, and many would consider Dr. Armstrong to be the most significant choral conductor in the world."

The choir will stop in Waco as part of its annual tour to churches all around the country. Baylor is the only university stop on the tour.

The choir will perform spiritual arrangements, including music by Felix Mendelssohn, Johann Sebastian Bach, Herbert Howells and, in honor of the 100th anniversary of his birth, Alberto Ginastera.

The choir also will sing a set of four pieces honoring Kenneth L. Jennings, who led the St. Olaf Choir from 1968 to 1990. He passed away in August at age 90.

"We have been fortunate at Baylor to host the St. Olaf Choir in the past, and I am thrilled that they are returning to Baylor," Bradley said. "Students will have an opportunity to engage with immense beauty, to see up-close the impact of tradition on an organization and engage with timeless choral music."

For tickets, visit the St. Olaf Choir website.

The Glennis McCrary Music Building is located at 110 Baylor Ave.

by Jenna Press, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MUSIC

The Baylor University School of Music provides transformational experiences that prepare students for careers in music. Our students thrive in a Christian environment characterized by a nurturing resident faculty, an unwavering pursuit of musical excellence, a global perspective, dedication to service, and devotion to faith. They investigate the rich musical and cultural heritage of the past, develop superior musical skills and knowledge in the present, and explore and create new modes of musical expression for the future. While preparing for future leadership roles, the students join with School of Music faculty in enhancing the quality of community life, enriching the larger culture, and making Baylor a place in which heart, mind and soul coalesce. The School of Music of Baylor University is a member of the National Association of Schools of Music and the Texas Association of Music Schools. Degree programs leading to the bachelor of music education degree conform to certification requirements of the Texas Education Agency.

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