Nordic Choir

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This press release photo shows the complete membership of the Nordic Choir from the 2013-2014 school year.

The Nordic Choir is a 74-voice a cappella choir of highly select mixed voices from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

In 1948, just two years after its founding by Dr. Sigvart Steen, a Luther College alumnus, a young Weston Noble began a 57-year tenure as music director and conductor.[1] Together, Noble and The Nordic Choir cultivated one of the most honored Lutheran collegiate choral traditions in the United States.

Eventually five more choirs were added to the music program to accommodate the growing interest in choral music and voice at Luther. In 2005, Luther College named Dr. Craig Arnold to the position of Director of Choral Activities and conductor of the Nordic Choir following Noble’s retirement. Arnold held the position from 2005-2010. Dr. Allen Hightower was appointed conductor effective Fall 2010.

The Nordic Choir tours annually throughout the United States and has appeared at many of the major concert halls and music centers in America, including Lincoln Center, New York City; the 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, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and the Crystal Cathedral, Los Angeles; and the historic Mormon Tabernacle, Salt Lake City.

The choir has also been featured in three international television broadcasts of The Hour of Power and on four national convention programs of the American Choral Directors Association. The choir was also featured for the soundtrack of Larry-Boy and the Rumor Weed.

Every third year the choir tours internationally. The Nordic Choir has made numerous concert tours of Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, Russia, and Eastern Europe. During its 1994 tour of Russia and Eastern Europe, the Nordic Choir performed in Tchaikovsky Hall, Moscow, and the Franz Liszt Academy, Budapest, and shared a concert in St. Petersburg’s Philharmonic Hall with the St. Petersburg Conservatory Choir. The Nordic Choir returned to Russia and Eastern Europe in 1997 on a tour that included performances with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra. In 2000 and 2003, the choir honored the college’s roots with tours to Norway and Scandinavia. In 2006, the Nordic Choir toured Europe with concerts in Italy, Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic. In May and June 2009, the Nordic Choir returned to Europe with concerts in Italy, France, and Spain, and in May 2012, the choir toured the British Isles.

Closer to home, the choir appears frequently on campus in concerts, worship services and at Christmas at Luther, the college's annual Christmas concert series, alongside the Luther College Symphony Orchestra and five other Luther choirs.

In the fall of 2006, the Nordic Choir released its first CD under the direction of Dr. Craig Arnold, The Road Home, that joined the extensive library of recordings highlighting the Noble choral legacy. The choir's most recent release, Prayer, under the direction of Dr. Allen Hightower, was released in 2014.


  1. ^ "A Cappella Choirs in the Scandinavian-American Lutheran Colleges". Norwegian-American Historical Association. Retrieved 2013-02-06. 

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