Cantorei is one of seven co-curricular choral ensembles on campus. The St. Olaf Cantorei was established in the 1960s as the Campus Choir to provide opportunities for more students to participate in the St. Olaf choral tradition.
In 1986, the choir assumed its present name, which comes from the German, Kantorei. Like its historic prototype, the 105 voice ensemble is a relatively complete musical organization of instrumentalists and singers which has become known for creative programming blending the St. Olaf choral tradition with instrumental color, uniquely honed and focused to lead worship and provide a distinctive musical and spiritual experience. The Cantorei has been conducted by John Ferguson since his appointment to the St. Olaf faculty in 1983.