Since 1912, music lovers have marked the holiday season with one of the country’s most honored traditions, the St. Olaf College Christmas Festival. Initially a small musical program for the college community in Northfield, Minnesota, started by the founder of the school's music department, F. Melius Christiansen, the beloved annual celebration now enjoys a national, and even worldwide, audience.
This year’s centennial performance marks the ninth time that Christmas at St. Olaf has been produced for broadcast on PBS. Five choral ensembles — St. Olaf Choir, Viking Chorus, Chapel Choir, Cantorei and the Manitou Singers — and the St. Olaf Orchestra perform a full repertoire of Christmas compositions, as well as familiar carols and hymns from around the world. Featuring more than 500 student musicians, the vocal groups and orchestra perform separately as well as together. Christmas at St. Olaf, held at the college's Skoglund Center, offers a rich blend of selections from previous Christmas Festivals, including excerpts from R.V. Williams’ "Hodie." Additionally, this year’s performance debuts newly commissioned works by American composers André J. Thomas and David N. Childs. (Source:
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