This past Sunday, we broadcast the St. Olaf Christmas Festival. One gorgeous gem of a piece on the program was brand new this year, written by a sophomore at St. Olaf College named Stanford Scriven.
Stanford approached St. Olaf Christmas Festival Artistic Director Anton Armstrong with his new setting of "Jesus Christ the Apple Tree."
Armstrong says that there is already a famous - and really successful - setting by Elizabeth Poston and he was pretty skeptical about a new one, especially by someone so young.
But he says he was awestruck by Stanford's absolutely sparkling setting and eagerly programmed the St. Olaf Choir to sing it.
Scriven says he too was surprised that he had it in him to compose something so lovely.
You can hear his remarks and the St. Olaf Choir conducted by Anton Armstrong on Classical MPR's regional spotlight.
A repeat broadcast of the 2009 St. Olaf Christmas festival will be broadcast December 20th on Classical MPR.