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The Bruce Larsen Collection

The Larsen Collection will be inaccessible at times while the Alcuin Library undergoes renovation May 2015-January 2017. Please contact us with your needs and we will do our best to make materials available.

Organist, choir director, arranger, composer, producer, choral teacher, historian

Bruce Larsen was one of Richard Proulx's teachers for both choral conducting and composition. Bruce's career threaded its way through several area institutions: choral director at the University of Minnesota Newman Club 1946 to 1958; organist and founding music director at the Church of the Holy Childhood in St. Paul 1946 to 1949; organist and choral/music director at St. Olaf's Catholic Church, Minneapolis, 1949 to 1964; and choral/music director at the Basilica of St. Mary, Minneapolis, 1964 to 1968. Larsen then returned to Holy Childhood where he continued as music director until 1987.

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Choir Director Works to Glorify God - The Catholic Bulletin

Bruce Larsen at Holy Childhood parish - circa 1976

Choir director Bruce Larsen puts a group of his student singers through their pre-Christmas paces during a vigorous practice session at Holy Childhood parish, St. Paul (Catholic Bulletin - December 24, 1976).


While he chatted with a visitor in his choir room, Larsen toyed with a policeman's whistle on a black cord. When his choir boys got too boisterous during rehearsal Larsen used to pound on the top of the organ console with the palm of his hand. After a few years of this the screws in that panel started popping out onto the floor.

So he got the whistle.

"You know when Bruce reaches into his pocket, that the whistle is coming out," reports Larry Jagoe, a bass. "He'll blow that thing, and a hush will come over the choir."

A bachelor, Larsen has escaped the color-coordinated counsel of women. During a recent conversation he wore a forest green jacket, a lemon shirt, flowered tie, herringbone slacks, mustard socks and well-scuffed loafers.

For concerts, however, he is impeccable in a tuxedo.

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