About Anton Armstrong
The 2022-23 season is Anton Armstrong’s 33nd year as Conductor of the St. Olaf Choir, marking him as the longest tenured conductor in the ensemble’s storied 111 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 and led the Calvin Alumni Choir, the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus and the St. Cecilia Youth Chorale. 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.
In recent years, Dr. Armstrong has guest conducted such noted ensembles as theTabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square, the Utah Symphony and Symphony Chorus, the Utah Voices and Salt Lake City Symphony, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Westminster Choir, the American Boychoir, The Houston Chamber Choir, The Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati and The Phoenix Chorale. He has also 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. He spent February-June 2007 in residency at Baylor University as a visiting professor. In March 2007 Anton Armstrong was the first recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the American Boychoir School and in October 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. The festival’s highest honor, the Saltzman Award is bestowed upon individuals who have provided exceptional levels of leadership to the organization. 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, Anton Armstrong was named an Honorary Life Member of the National Collegiate Choral Organization. Honorary Life Members are recognized as members of the choral profession who have devoted their life to the enhancement and artistic growth of the choral art. The award recognizes those leaders in the choral profession who have mentored young conductors, inspired singers, supported music educators in the arts, and shared their talents and gifts in the United States and abroad. 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 and the 2022: 50 Over 50 Honoree in the Arts Award from AARP-Minnesota and the Pollen Midwest.