Clinician – Mixed Choir

Anton Armstrong
2022 KMEA All-State Mixed Choir Conductor

Anton Armstrong, Tosdal Professor of Music at St. Olaf College, became 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 College and led the Calvin College 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.

Active as a guest conductor in the United States and abroad, Dr. Armstrong has conducted All-State choirs and choral festivals in nearly all 50 states. In the 2021-22 year he will guest conduct the Kansas All-State Mixed Choir and the North Dakota All-State Choir. He has also guest conducted such luminary ensembles as the World Youth Choir, the Indonesia Youth Choir, the Ansan City Choir (South Korea), the Formosa Singers (Taiwan), the Houston Chamber Choir, the Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati, the Phoenix Chorale, the Westminster Choir and the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square.

In March 2017, The St. Olaf Christmas Festival, one of the oldest musical celebrations of Christmas in the United States begun in 1912 by F. Melius Christiansen, founder of the St. Olaf College Music Department was featured by invitation in two major performances at the 2017 National Conference of the American Choral Directors Association at Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis, MN. Since 1990, Anton Armstrong has served as Artistic Director of the St. Olaf Christmas Festival which features nearly 600 student musicians who are members of five St. Olaf Choral ensembles and the St. Olaf Orchestra.

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 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, which is 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. Anton Armstrong was named an Honorary Life Member of the National Collegiate Choral Organization in the Fall of 2021. Honorary Life Members are recognized as a member 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 our 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.