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'Danger' at opening convocation

By David Gonnerman '90
September 3, 2010

College Organist John Ferguson will exchange his keyboard for a lectern when he addresses the opening convocation crowd Thursday.

Opening convocation for St. Olaf College will take place Thursday, Sept. 9, beginning at 11:10 a.m. in Boe Memorial Chapel. John Ferguson, college organist and the Elliot and Klara Stockdal Johnson Professor of Organ and Church Music, will give the address. The event, which is open to the public and will be streamed live and archived online, will include a formal procession by faculty. The St. Olaf Band, conducted by Timothy Mahr '78, will provide music.

The title of Ferguson’s talk is “Danger: Keep Out,” which he says will look at how “danger” — in such contexts as tradition — can be an accurate sign of a healthy college community. “If you don’t encounter some challenging times while at college, then your experience on campus is not normal,” he explains.

Ferguson, who has taught at St. Olaf since 1983, has more than 150 compositions and arrangements in print. He also co-edits, with St. Olaf Choir Conductor Anton Armstrong ‘78, the St. Olaf Choral Series for Augsburg Fortress and has been named editor of a new series of organ anthologies to be published by GIA publications.

Contact David Gonnerman at 507-786-3315 or