What Anton did for his summer vacation
This report from St. Olaf, where Anton Armstrong, a '78 alumni, is the Harry R. and Thora H. Tosdal Professor of Music and conductor of the St. Olaf Choir.
Also known as conductor of our Stangeland Family Youth Choral Academy, Armstrong is working with singers from around the world this week at the 22nd Zimriya World Assembly of Choirs in Israel.
Armstrong is one of seven guest conductors — and the only one from the United States — at the assembly, which began August 16 at the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus overlooking Jerusalem. He is leading 100 singers from Israel, Germany, Greece, Argentina, and the United States in a workshop focused on African American spirituals and gospel music. Public gala concerts will be held in the final days of the gathering, which ends August 25.
The Zimriya has been held every third summer in Israel since 1952. Choirs from around the world were invited to participate this year, and more than 700 singers gathered at the festival. Workshop choirs, led by world-known conductors, rehearse daily for five to six hours during the mornings and afternoons. The evenings feature “open singing” of music from various countries and choir-to-choir sessions. The other guest conductors this year hail from Israel, Switzerland, Germany, Bulgaria, and the United Kingdom.