For many people, the celebration of the Advent-Christmas-Epiphany season begins with the annual St. Olaf Christmas Festival, a century-old tradition at St. Olaf College. The first festival was a musical program for the college community, planned and directed by F. Melius Christiansen, founder of the St. Olaf Music Department. The festival continues as an expression of the College's rich musical heritage. Recorded on campus, CHRISTMAS AT ST. OLAF: RIS'N WITH HEALING IN HIS WINGS features lively and festive music, including "Gloria" by Andre J. Thomas - a work arranged for massed choir, soloists, and a full orchestra in a gospel musical style. Other music includes familiar Christmas carols, beautiful and contemplative choral anthems, and rollicking orchestral flourishes.