is in his 36th year on the faculty of St. Olaf College where he serves as Professor of Music and Conductor of the St. Olaf Orchestra, which won the 2013 American Prize in Orchestral Performance among colleges and universities. Under his direction, the orchestra tours nationally and internationally, and has been featured on NPR, PBS and twice on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion.
In addition to his conducting duties, Amundson teaches courses in music theory, aural skills, and conducting. He has held conducting posts at the University of Virginia, Tacoma Community College, and as Music Director of the Tacoma Youth Symphony before his arrival to Minnesota in 1981. He is the founding conductor of the Twin Cities' based Metropolitan Symphony. He served as Music Director and Conductor of the Bloomington Symphony from 1984 – 1997. Amundson has guest conducted professional ensembles in Minnesota including the Duluth Symphony, Fargo-Moorhead Symphony, the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra, and the renowned Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He has also been on the conducting staff at the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp, and is in demand as a guest conductor of All-State orchestras throughout the United States, most recently in California, Kansas, Ohio and Pennsylvania. In 2017, he will guest conduct in Georgia, Montana, Wisconsin, and in South Korea where he will lead a national youth orchestra festival.
A commissioned composer and arranger, Amundson is published by the Lauren Keiser Music and Neil A. Kjos Music Co. Tempo Music Resource distributes his self-published works. His orchestral compositions have received over 800 performances by university, civic and professional orchestras including the Atlanta, Chicago, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Oregon, Nashville, Phoenix, San Diego, St. Louis, and Utah Symphonies, and internationally by the Toronto Symphony and BBC Symphonies. His Angels’ Dance is featured on the 2003 Houston Symphony’s A Christmas Festival CD and the 2011 Cincinnati Pops Holiday CD.
A 1977 graduate of Luther College, Amundson obtained the Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from Northwestern University and did further studies at the University of Virginia, the Aspen Music School and the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria.
In the 1980 International Conducting Competition hosted by the Mozarteum and Austrian National Radio, Amundson placed first earning the Hans Haring Prize. In 1992, the Minnesota Music Education Association named him "Minnesota Orchestra Educator of the Year." In the fall of 1995, Amundson received the Carlo A. Sperati Award from Luther College in recognition of his meritorious achievement in the field of music.