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Wednesday, November 28th, 2012




CHRISTMAS AT ST. OLAF airs Sunday, December 9th at 7:00pm on WTVP-HD.

Anton Armstrong, artistic director of St. Olaf College Christmas Festival.

– PBS Presentation Celebrates the 100th St. Olaf Christmas Festival –

For a century, music lovers worldwide have marked the beginning of the holiday season with one of the country’s most honored traditions, the St. Olaf College Christmas Festival. CHRISTMAS AT ST. OLAF, with the theme Rejoice, Give Thanks, and Sing for the 100th festival, is a holiday special airing Sunday, December 9th, 2012, 7:00-8:00pm on WTVP-HD.

Initially a small musical program for the college community, the beloved annual celebration now enjoys a worldwide audience. The St. Olaf College Christmas Festival has also been lauded in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and TV Guide.

“Our centennial festival’s theme Rejoice, Give Thanks, and Sing draws from the hymn ‘Rejoice Ye Pure in Heart,’ which captures the spirit that we were envisioning,” says Anton Armstrong, the festival’s artistic director. “While we seek to pay homage to the great musical, cultural and religious traditions that have shaped the festival over the past 100 years, we look with vision and hope for the promise yet to come.”

Five choral ensembles and the St. Olaf Orchestra — more than 500 student musicians strong — will perform a rich repertoire of Christmas compositions, as well as familiar carols and hymns from around the world. CHRISTMAS AT ST. OLAF will offer a rich blending of selections from previous Christmas Festivals, including excerpts from Ralph Vaughan Williams Hodie. Additionally, this year’s performance will debut newly commissioned works by American composers André J. Thomas and David N. Childs.

“St. Olaf’s Christmas celebration is in a class by itself,” says Phil Byrd, who has directed television programs with a number of America’s great choruses and who is the producer/director of the last three St. Olaf Christmas specials. “Few choral ensembles — professional or amateur — perform at the level of St. Olaf’s choirs,” he says.

This centennial performance marks the ninth time Twin Cities Public Television has collaborated with St. Olaf College to bring the Christmas Festival to PBS audiences. “PBS is pleased to celebrate this special anniversary performance with an all-new presentation,” said John F. Wilson, PBS senior vice president and chief TV programming executive. “CHRISTMAS AT ST. OLAF is one of our viewers’ most anticipated holiday traditions. The caliber of the performances and arrangements through the years has been consistently world-class.”



About St. Olaf College
Recognized as one of the nation's leading liberal arts colleges, St. Olaf offers an academically rigorous education with a vibrant faith tradition as a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

About Twin Cities Public Television
Twin Cities Public Television (tpt) is the PBS affiliate for Minneapolis/St. Paul and is a significant content producer for the public television system. In addition to crafting major series, documentaries and specials, tpt amplifies its reach and impact through innovative websites, educational outreach programs and community engagement initiatives.





For further information contact Linda Miller, WTVP Vice President of Programming, at (309) 495-0591 or linda.miller@wtvp.org



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