The comfort of the human voice

Many schools are known for their athletics. There’s money in it. The teams bring in revenue from ticket sales at games and in exchange for their viewing rights. My alma mater is known for its choir. The St. Olaf Choir is a frequent world traveler, bringing the beauty of the human voice to places near and far.

This year’s Christmas Concert performance, Promise of Peace, was performed at Orchestra Hall. It’s a beautiful venue with spectacular acoustics. But it’s the voices of 500 choir members who perform which make the event memorable.

Beautiful Savior is a favorite. Have a listen.

Of Our New Day

We were in Northfield this afternoon for parent’s weekend at St. Olaf College. After lunch at the Reunion on Main Street and a walk along the nature trail behind Skogland, we went to listen to the Family Music Performance. The freshmen male choir, directed by Tesfa Wondemagegnehu, formed a half moon on the risers first, and they did not disappoint. I had several friends in choir back so many years ago now, that these new fresh faces simply met their level of excellence.

Having no expectations for the St Olaf Band, however, led to a delightful sense of discovering something exceptional. The variety of instruments and tones and tempos! Well, listen for yourself.

Storytelling then and now

You know how all the marketing people like to say- let the ad tell your story? The whole story method seems to crop up on LinkedIn or on how-to advice to promote businesses on social media. One simply must come up with an interesting backdrop.

Storytelling now doesn’t hold a candle to storytelling back in Bach’s day. In the 1700’s the account of the death and resurrection of Christ was sung out on Good Friday over a three plus hour service. Have a listen to the Netherlands Bach Society interpretation of the piece.

Personally, I prefer the time when a story was spun into something beautiful instead of a soft shoe move to peak the interest of a commercial audience.

What Child is this- 1983 Edition

The St. Olaf Choir is a premier a cappella choir based in Northfield, Minnesota. Founded in 1912 by Norwegian immigrant F. Melius Christiansen, the choir has been influential to other church and college choirs for its performance of unaccompanied sacred music.[1] Conducted since 1990 by Anton Armstrong, there have been four conductors in the choir’s 109 year history.