New Host and Music Director to Lead Sing For Joy – St. Olaf College Program

As Reverend W. Bruce Benson (left) retires from Sing For Joy, Reverend Alexandra Jacob ’16 (center) will take on the role of the program’s new host and Andrew Jacob ’18 (right) will serve as its new musical director. .

Reverend W. Bruce Benson’s voice is familiar to many Oles. As pastor of St. Olaf College for 30 years (1981-2011), he could be heard in Boe Chapel, classrooms and many Christmas festivals. Over the past 20 years, his voice has found an even wider audience, traveling the airwaves to listeners around the world, through his role as host of Sing of joy, a radio program of sacred choral music produced by St. Olaf that follows the church’s lectionary. Benson has provided information and commentary for more than 1,000 episodes of the weekly half-hour show started by the Reverend Alvin Rueter and in production since 1954. But on June 5, 2022, Benson will retire and make his farewell to his professional. time on the Hill.

Reverend Alexandra Jacob ’16 will step into the role of host of Sing of joy on June 12, 2022. Jacob is the Associate Pastor for Families, Youth and Children at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Church Music from St. Olaf’s and her Master of Divinity degree from Columbia Theological Seminary. The church internship experiences throughout her time at St. Olaf helped Alexandra discern a “sacred power” away from the organ bench and toward the pulpit.

Andrew Jacob ’18 is the new musical director of Sing of joyand will also begin on June 12, 2022. In this role, Jacob will select the musical works heard on Sing of joy. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from St. Olaf’s and a Master of Music in Organ Performance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where he was an Organ Fellow. Kenan. Jacob is currently the organist and co-director of music at Augustana Lutheran Church in West St. Paul, Minnesota, and says his greatest joy on the organ comes when he leads a worship congregation in song. Jacob’s primary teachers at St. Olaf included Artist-in-Residence Catherine Rodland and Associate Professor of Music James Bobb, Elliot M. and Klara Stockdal Johnson Chair of Organ and Church Music. St. Olaf Professor Emeritus of Music John Ferguson will become Music Advisor Emeritus with this new appointment.

Broadcast/Media Services team members Jeffrey O’Donnell ’02, Carolyn Pierson ’06, Sean Tonko P’22 and Rebecca Beam ’18 will continue in their current roles in the program’s production.

Sing of joy is sponsored in part by the Sukup Manufacturing Company of Sheffield, Iowa; St. Olaf’s Lutheran Center for Faith, Values ​​and Community; the American Association of Choral Directors; and thanks to the financial support of listeners around the world.

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