St. Olaf Choir ends winter tour at Boe

To end their winter tour, the St. Olaf Choir performed to a packed audience at Boe Memorial Chapel on Sunday, Feb. 17. This year’s tour took the world-renowned choir to South Dakota, Iowa, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida. The incredible performance was conducted by Anton Armstrong who has been conducting the choir for 29 years.

“We are constantly examining the repertoire from a global perspective, but the core of our being is still a proclamation of the Christian gospel – a message of faith, love and truth,” Armstrong wrote in the choir program.

Accordingly, most of the pieces performed were Christian and the concert was divided into sets including, “we are called to sing and praise, we sing of love and light, we are called to compassion and care for our neighbor and we sing of love and hope.”

The beautiful music filled Boe Chapel with overwhelmingly positive energy and sound. The message of love, compassion and spirituality was not lost upon listeners.

The choir performed many songs including “O Crux,” “This Is My Song,” “Rockin’ Jerusalem,” “Gloria and Wake,” “Awake,” “For The Night, is Flying.” The variety of songs displayed the vocal range and power of the choir.

According to emsemble members Emma Chambers ’21,“I Dream a World” was her favorite song they performed. The song was part of the fourth set dedicated to André J. Thomas and the African American concert spiritual. The other sets touched on issues of hunger, immigration and acceptance.

“Our overall message is through the lens of Christianity but what I got from it was a message of caring for all people no matter where they come from or who they are,” Chambers said.

Chambers stressed how important this message is today. “The music forced people to be in a situation where they had to think about a variety of issues and that felt very powerful,” she said.

Chambers was among the 12 members who returned to their hometowns to perform.

“I’ve been spending so much time with this music and we all felt really connected to it and being able to take that home to the people that shaped me felt full circle,” Chambers said. “St. Olaf Choir has been my biggest dream since high school and being a part of it is surreal.”

The St. Olaf choir succeeded in spreading their message of love through song in the Midwest and South with their wonderful winter tour, living up to their name yet again.

“lt was so special being able to see the look of pure joy on people’s faces when we performed,” Chambers said.

Looking forward, the St. Olaf Choir will be preparing for a concert in collaboration with a South Korean choir this March and then will begin preparing for their Norway tour with the St. Olaf Orchestra this summer.