Dr. Anton Armstrong, Conductor

The 2023-24 season is Anton Armstrong’s 34th year as Conductor of the St. Olaf Choir, marking him as the longest tenured conductor in the ensemble’s storied 112 year history.  He is the Tosdal Professor of Music at St. Olaf College, becoming the fourth conductor of the St. Olaf Choir in 1990, after ten years in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he served on the faculty of Calvin University. He is a graduate of St. Olaf College and earned advanced degrees at the University of Illinois (MM) and Michigan State University (DMA).  He is editor of a multicultural choral series for Earthsongs Publications and co-editor (with John Ferguson) of the revised St. Olaf Choral Series for Augsburg Fortress Publishers. In June 1998, he began his tenure as founding conductor of the Oregon Bach Festival Stangeland Family Youth Choral Academy.  Dr. Armstrong currently serves as Chair of the national board of Chorus America and also serves on the national board of The Choristers Guild.

During the 2023-24 season Anton Armstrong will lead choral festivals at Carnegie Hall and the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville.  He will also serve as a guest lecturer and clinician at the University of Illinois, Duke University and Baylor University.  In October of 2023 he will return as President of the Jury of the Busan International Choral Festival in Busan, South Korea.  Additional guest conducting appearances will take place in North Carolina, New Mexico and Virginia.  In June 2024 he will lead the St. Olaf Choir on their first tour to South Africa.

Dr. Armstrong has frequently conducted ensembles and appeared before regional, national and international gatherings of the American Choral Directors Association, International Federation of Choral Music, National Association for Music Education, Choristers Guild, American Guild of Organists, Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, Organization of American Kodaly Educators and the Orff-Schulwerk Association. He has collaborated in concert with Bobby McFerrin and Garrison Keillor.

In January 2006, Baylor University selected Anton Armstrong from a field of 118 distinguished nominees to receive the Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching.  In March of 2007 he was the first recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the American Boychoir School and in October of 2009 he received The Distinguished Alumni Award from Michigan State University. In June 2013 Dr. Armstrong received the Saltzman Award from the Oregon Bach Festival. In the Fall of 2014 The St. Olaf Choir and Dr. Armstrong received a Regional Emmy for the PBS television program Christmas in Norway with The St. Olaf Choir.  In 2021 Armstrong was named an Honorary Life Member of the National Collegiate Choral Organization. In September, 2022, Dr. Armstrong received the Distinguished Legacy Award from the College of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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