St. Olaf Choir and Conductor Anton Armstrong Announce 2013 West Coast Winter Tour

"This musical setting of Eleanor Roosevelt's nightly prayer is very stunning," Armstrong says. "It features exciting counterpoint, rhythms, harmonic conflicts, and a melodic sense that is fitting for the text. It concludes with a canon built around the final words of Roosevelt's prayer: 'show us a vision of the world made new.' Abbie is one of exciting new voices in choral composition, and she has a distinctive and ever evolving style."

The 2013 West Coast Tour's program features:

• Motets by J.S. Bach and the Baroque Mexican composer Juan de Lienas, as well as a double choir
work by the late Renaissance German composer Hans Leo Hassler.
• A 2010 work by San Francisco-based composer David Conte, The Homecoming (In memoriam
Martin Luther King, Jr.).
• A new arrangement of a Norwegian melody In the Shepherd's Keeping by Minneapolis composer Charles Forsberg.
• Way Over in Beulah Lan' - a setting of slave songs by the African American composer Stacey Gibbs.
• 2012 St. Olaf College graduate Stanford Scriven's Paume, Doux Lit Froissé, a work commissioned by the Oregon Bach Festival in honor of the 15th anniversary of the founding of the Stangeland Family Youth Choral Academy. Armstrong founded the Stangeland academy in 1998, and Scriven was a member during his years in high school. Scriven's work was premiered this past summer in Eugene during the Oregon Bach Festival's 2012 season.

• Works by Ralph Vaughn Williams (Serenade to Music), F. Melius Christiansen (O Day Full of Grace); Moses Hogan (This Little Light of Mine), Greg Jasperse (Abide with Me), and the Taiwanese composer Yu-Shan Tsai (Fa Shu Ha).

Also this year the St. Olaf Choir and Armstrong will embark on their Centennial Tour of Norway in June. When conductor F. Melius Christiansen traveled through Norway with his new St. Olaf Choir in 1913, the concert tour was heralded for its artistic, religious and patriotic significance. He was a Norwegian from Larvik building an impressive music department at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, and most of his 50 singers were of Norwegian descent. The June 2013 tour to Norway will be the St. Olaf Choir's seventh trip to Norway. Today its singers come from more diverse cultural backgrounds, its conductor Anton Armstrong is African American and its repertory reflects a broader worldview.

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