Poster StOlaf-2023

St. Olaf Christmas Festival: 'Love and Joy Come to You'

St. Olaf Christmas Festival 2023

The St. Olaf Christmas Festival has become one of the nation's most cherished holiday celebrations. This year's presentation, Love and Joy Come to You, features more than 500 student musicians in a live performance at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. Listen now to the two-hour special drawn from this event.

Started in 1912 by F. Melius Christiansen, founder of the St. Olaf College Music Department, the festival includes hymns, carols, choral works and orchestral selections celebrating the Nativity. It will feature the St. Olaf Choir, the St. Olaf Orchestra, the St. Olaf Cantorei, the St. Olaf Chapel Choir, the Manitou Singers and the Viking Chorus, performing as individual groups and as a massed ensemble.

Playlist and program

Here is the playlist for this two-hour special:

Michael Praetorius (arr. Sven-David Sandstrom, orch. Steven Amundson): “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming”

Christopher Aspaas: “As the Dark Awaits the Dawn”

Traditional (Swedish, arr. John Ferguson): “Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers”

J.S. Bach: “Jauchzet, Frohlocket” (from Christmas Oratorio)

Justin Merritt: “Corde Natus Exparentis”

B.E. Boykin: “O Magnum Mysterium”

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck: “Hodie Christus Natus Est”

Traditional (French, arr. David Sims): “Love Has Come”

Josef Rheinberger: “Gloria” (from Mass in E-flat)

Rosephanye Powell (arr. William C. Powell): “Ogo Ni Fun Oluwa”

Kenneth Jennings: “Summer in Winter”

Traditional (African American spiritual, arr. Mark Butler): “Glory Hallelujah to the Newborn King”

BREAK - Aaron Jay Kernis: Musica Celestis (excerpt)

Harold Darke (arr. Robert Scholz): “In the Bleak Midwinter”

Frederick Delius: “Winter Night” (“Sleigh Ride”) (from Three Small Tone Poems)

Christopher Aspaas: Carol Collage - “Love and Joy Come to You”

Traditional (Latin, arr. Robert Scholz): “Good Christian Friends, Rejoice”

F. Melius Christiansen: :”Glorification” (from Celestial Spring)

Richard Dirksen: “Welcome All Wonders”

Traditional (English, arr. Steven Amundson): “Joy to the World”

Adolphe Adam (arr. John Rutter): “O Holy Night”

Traditional (Silesian, arr. F. Melius Christiansen): “Beautiful Savior”

ENCORE - Ralph Vaughan Williams: “Ring Out Ye Crystal Spheres” (from Hodie)


Radio broadcasts of the St. Olaf Christmas Festival are made possible as a gift to the community by Tad and Cindy Piper.

Video is produced through the generosity and support of St. Olaf's sponsors:

Paul and Margot Grangaard

David and Cynthia Hill

The Mark and Laura Johnson Family

Tim and Jan Maudlin with gratitude for the Lutheran Center for Faith, Values and Community

The Tomson Family Foundation

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Latest Holiday Episodes