By Michael Kyle ‘85
The early seven-hour bus ride to Trondheim would be the last significant trek for the choir and staff during the Centennial Tour to Norway. Many of the choir members took a well-deserved nap, dreaming, one might think, about personal highlights of the previous 10 performances and 11 cities now behind them. The other, more alert contingent of the choir looked out the windows and, likely, forward to their final public performance and destination: the famed Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim.
Trondheim, in many ways, is the perfect culmination of the choir’s Centennial Tour. So much of the college’s history and tradition is reflected in the city. It is where Bernt Julius Muus, the founder of St. Olaf College, is buried. Active waterways, a thriving local and tourist economy, and the historical significance of Nidaros Cathedral were highlights for our group.
The choir was greeted by President David R. Anderson ’74 and his wife, Priscilla Paton, who had arrived the previous evening to participate in a graveside service at Muus’ burial site with the dean of Nidaros in attendance. Later in the day a full cathedral greeted the choir, and for the recently graduated “seniors” their final concert with the St. Olaf Choir was emotional. The traditional march down the aisle at the conclusion was accompanied by tears, sniffles, and then lingering hugs as the graduates concluded their time as a member of the this wonderful group.
Michael Kyle ’85 is vice president for enrollment and college relations at St. Olaf.