Craig Arnold, conductor of Nordic Choir and director of choral activities, to leave Luther

Feb. 12, 2010

Craig Arnold, Luther College professor of music, director of choral activities, and conductor of the internationally acclaimed Nordic Choir, has announced his intention to leave his position at Luther at the end of the academic year.

Professor Arnold, who joined the Luther faculty in 2005, plans to join his wife, Sarah, who is teaching at University Medical and Dental School of New Jersey and finishing a doctorate from Drew University. The Arnolds will reside in Summit, N.J.

Professor Arnold will resume leadership of Manhattan Concert Productions with plans to conduct the Manhattan Concert Chorale and Chamber Orchestra. The Arnolds’ sons live in New York City and Washington, D.C.

Professor Arnold will continue his teaching and conducting duties at Luther through May.

“Dr. Arnold has taken Luther’s vocal music program to a new level of excellence and has advanced the Nordic Choir’s reputation as one of the nation’s premier college music ensembles,” said Luther President Richard Torgerson.  “We are deeply saddened that he will be ending his teaching and conducting career at Luther. He is an outstanding musician, connects exceedingly well with students, and is committed to the faith and learning mission of this college.  Nevertheless we support his decision to move on, and wish him the very best as he shares his many talents in new ways.”

Professor Arnold said his decision to leave Luther was a difficult one after five years of success in the transition of Nordic Choir to a new era. Arnold was named director of the Nordic Choir after the storied 57-year tenure of internationally known conductor Weston Noble who retired in 2005. Arnold said his time at Luther has been a rewarding experience.

“I have so enjoyed fine colleagues, students, teaching and performing opportunities,” Arnold said. “I will remember these years fondly. Luther is well supported and poised for continuing growth and excellent music making.”

President Torgerson said the college will soon begin the search for Arnold’s successor.

Professor Arnold previously served three years on Luther’s music faculty in the early 1980s. Prior to his return to Luther, he was music director of Manhattan Concert Productions and conductor of the New York City Chorale and Chamber Orchestra.

He continues to serve Manhattan Concert Productions as artistic director and chair. He will serve as founding conductor of the United States Inter-Collegiate Chorale in 2010.

Professor Arnold previously served as director of choral activities at Western Michigan University and at Capital University.  He has served as guest lecturer at the St. Petersburg (Russia) Conservatory and has conducted choirs and orchestras at New York City’s Carnegie Hall and the Weill Recital Hall.  He has frequently appeared as guest conductor, clinician, or presenter in Japan, England, Scotland, Germany, France, Italy, Wales, Hong Kong, China, Spain, and throughout the United States.

Professor Arnold hold holds a doctorate in conducting from the Eastman School of Music, a master’s degree from the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign, and a bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College.