Nordic Choir, founded in 1946, enjoys national and international acclaim as a premier collegiate choral ensemble in the United States. The choir begins its tenure under the direction of Dr. Andrew Last this year. Last arrived at Luther in the fall of 2012 and begins his role as Director of Choral Activities in 2017. Previous conductors include Sigvart Steen (1946-48), Weston Noble '43 (1948-2005), Craig Arnold (2005-10), and Allen Hightower (2010-16).
Nordic Choir is Luther’s flagship choir in a choral program that comprises three upper-class mixed touring choirs, two first-year choirs, and a women’s choir. More than 530 singers from these ensembles combine with Symphony Orchestra, Luther Ringers, and pipe organ for five Christmas at Luther performances each year. Christmas at Luther 2008: Night of Glory, Dawn of Peace, and Christmas at Luther 2012: Tidings of Comfort and Joy, were nationally broadcast as PBS holiday specials. The 2008 broadcast won a regional Emmy for Best Special Event Coverage. This year’s concert was streamed online
free of charge.
Nordic Choir has toured extensively throughout the United States, performing in churches of all denominations, schools, and concert halls, including Lincoln Center, New York; Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.; Orchestra Hall, Chicago; Orchestra Hall and the Historic State Theatre, Minneapolis; the Ordway Music Theatre, St. Paul, Minn.; Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Crystal Cathedral, Los Angeles; and the Mormon Tabernacle, Salt Lake City. Nordic Choir has also appeared at national American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) conventions in Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, and Kansas City, and at the Music Educators National Conference in Kansas City, Mo. Other notable appearances for Nordic Choir include a performance of Bach’s St. John Passion with Orchestra Iowa in 2012 and Handel’s Messiah with Luther’s own Symphony Orchestra, Collegiate Chorale, Cathedral Choir, and student soloists in March 2015, at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.
Nordic Choir has made numerous concert tours of Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, Russia, and Eastern Europe. Most recently, Nordic Choir completed a tour of Italy in May 2015, and Ireland and England in May 2012. To commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, the choir will tour Germany in May 2018, following an itinerary similar to Nordic Choir’s first international tour to Germany in 1967.
Nordic Choir has recorded extensively. Recent titles include Serenity (2016), Spirit, moving over chaos (2015), Prayer (2014), and Go, Lovely Rose (2013). Nordic Choir performances are also included each year on Christmas at Luther recordings.
Traditions within the Nordic Choir include holding hands during all performances, the sapphire blue velvet robes, and singing Pavel Chesnokov's O Lord God as the signature benedictory since 1948.
Nordic Choir rehearses MWF 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. and TTh 4:15 to 5:15 p.m. Rehearsal location for Nordic Choir is in the Choir Room.
Nordic Choir has recorded extensively, releasing at least one CD per year.
Recent titles include:
Nordic Choir appears on the Christmas at Luther albums each year as well: