St. Olaf College in Minnesota is one of the strongest bastions of Norwegian cultural heritage in America. Dedicated to its Norwegian roots the college carefully sustains its ties with Norway and is in continuous contact and cooperation with the homeland and institutions there as well as Norway’s representative institutions in America, and not least the wide spectrum of organisations devoted to Norwegian heritage in the US and Canada.
St. Olaf College will be deeply involved with this year’s centennial celebrations.
The college website explains:
Since its founding in 1874 by Norwegian immigrants, St. Olaf College has maintained strong connections with Norway. So in 2005, when Norway marks the 100-year anniversary of the peaceful dissolution of its union with Sweden, it should come as no surprise that St. Olaf will be a part of that commemoration. With events planned throughout Norway, Sweden and Denmark, as well as in, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom and here in the United States, it promises to be one of the most widely commemorated centennials in history.
St. Olaf has a world-renowned musical program including an elite orchestra, choir and band. The choir recently gave a concert at the White House attended by the President Bush and the First Lady. It was the fifth time the choir has been invited to the White House.
For the 2005 “centennial summer” the College’s joint elite ensembles will make an extensive tour of Norway performing at some unique Norwegian venues.
Reads the website:
In 2005, for the first time in the college’s history, its premier music ensembles will tour together throughout Norway. The St. Olaf Band, St. Olaf Choir and St. Olaf Orchestra will perform jointly in Oslo, Bergen, Molde and Trondheim, with each ensemble presenting additional concerts throughout the country
From the opening night in Oslo’s concert hall Wednesday June 1st, to the final concert in Trondheim’s Nidaros Cathedral on the 17th, the St. Olaf ensembles will have played no less than 17 concerts across the country.