Cantus (vocal ensemble)

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For other uses, see Cantus (disambiguation).
Cantus
Concert by Cantus
Cantus-UMass.png
Cantus performing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst

Cantus is a nine-member male vocal a cappella ensemble based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

Biography[edit]

Cantus is a full-time, professional vocal chamber ensemble, made up of nine men singing in a TTBB (tenor, tenor, baritone, bass), changed male voice arrangement. The artists are self-led, with programming and musical direction coming from within the group itself.[1] The ensemble is known for innovative concert programming, often tying together works of numerous genres to explore a selected theme,[2] including classical music, orchestral-vocal repertoire, folk music, art song, popular songs, spirituals, and newly commissioned works.

The vocal group maintains a schedule of around 70 live concert performances and 30-40 education/outreach activities in a given season, both in the United States of America and abroad. Cantus is an active proponent of music education, encouraging people of all ages - especially men - to sing. The ensemble has worked with tens of thousands of singers throughout the country in educational activities ranging from master classes to festivals and collaborations. New members are acquired through annual national auditions.[3]

The group was established by St. Olaf College students Brian Arreola, Albert Jordan, Erick Lichte, and Kjell Stenberg (three of whom were cellists), who recruited fellow students to sing with them in 1995. After a successful Northeast Tour in the summer of 1998, Cantus transitioned into a professional ensemble and non-profit organization by 2000, based out of Minneapolis, MN.

Notability[edit]

Cantus is the only artist-led full-time classical vocal ensemble in the United States, and is one of two professional classical male vocal ensembles in the United States that pays its artists full-time salaries, while maintaining a year-round schedule of performances, the other being San Francisco’s Chanticleer.

The ensemble received the 2009 Chorus America Margaret Hillis Award,[4] the first collaborative ensemble to do so. The ensemble's regular work with students nationwide also garnered Chorus America's Education Outreach Award in 2011.

Cantus was selected by Minnesota Public Radio to be Artists in Residence for the 2010–11 season.[5] The residency included supported touring, radio co-hosting, and international broadcasts via Performance Today.

In recent seasons, Cantus has been featured with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Boston Pops, and on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. [6] The 2013–2014 season marked the seventh year of the group's critically acclaimed collaboration with Theater Latte Da, All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914, which tells the true story of the Christmas Truce of 1914, when World War I soldiers set down their arms to celebrate the holidays with the enemy. [7]

Current members[edit]

Members of Minneapolis's classical a cappella group Cantus before a 2009 performance.

Zachary Colby, tenor

Aaron Humble, tenor

Blake Morgan, tenor

Paul John Rudoi, tenor

Shahzore Shah, tenor

Matthew Goinz, baritone

Matthew Tintes, baritone

Chris Foss, bass

Samuel Green, bass

Recordings[edit]

Cantus has released numerous critically acclaimed recordings in 24-bit, High-Resolution Compact Disc format, most of which were recorded by noted engineer and Stereophile Magazine Editor, John Atkinson.[8] The group's 2010, 2011, and 2012 releases That Eternal Day, Christmas with Cantus, and On the Shoulders of Giants brought in the Grammy Award-winning production team of Steve Barnett and Preston Smith for recording, engineering, and mastering.

  • Song of a Czech (2013)
  • On the Shoulders of Giants (2012)
  • Christmas with Cantus (2011)
  • That Eternal Day (2010)
  • Outside the Box (Limited Release) (2009)
  • All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 (2008)
  • While You Are Alive (2008)
  • Cantus (2007)
  • There Lies the Home (2006)
  • Cantus Live: Vol. 2 (2006)
  • Comfort and Joy: Volume Two (2005)
  • Comfort and Joy: Volume One (2004)
  • Cantus Live: Vol. 1 (2004)
  • Deep River" (2003)
  • “...against the dying of the light” (2002)
  • Let Your Voice Be Heard (2001)

Student recordings[edit]

  • Vagabond (1999 - Student Recording)
  • Tidings (1998 - Student Recording)
  • Introit (1997 - Student Recording)

Former members[edit]

Kurt Anderson, baritone (1996–1999)

Brian Arreola, tenor (1995–2005)

Nathan Bird, tenor (2010-2011)

Dashon Burton (2005–2009)

E. Mani Cadet, tenor (2006–2007)

Kelvin Chan, baritone (2000–2005)

Brad Cramer-Erbes, tenor (2002–2005)

Alan Dunbar, bass-baritone (1998–2004)

Micheal Hanawalt, tenor (1996–2004)

Eric Hopkins Ellingsen, tenor (2008-2011)

Curt Hopmann, tenor (2000–2001)

Brook Jacobsen, baritone/tenor (1995–1999)

Albert Jordan, tenor (1995–2006)

Michael Jones, tenor (2006-2008)

Erick Lichte, bass-baritone (1995–2003)

Mitch Lewandowski, bass (1995–1996)

Tom McNichols, bass (2004-2008)

Phillip Moody, baritone (1996–2000)

Tom Phelps, bass (1996–1998)

Adam Reinwald, baritone (1997-2014)

Gary Ruschman, tenor (2004-2014)

Kjell Stenberg, baritone (1995–1998)

Timothy C. Takach, bass (1996-2013)

Lawrence Wiliford, tenor (1995-2002)

David Walton, tenor (2001-2014)

Paul Wilson, baritone (1999–2002)

Peter Zvanovec, tenor (1999–2006)

External links[edit]

Cantus Sings

Soundcloud

Meet Cantus! on YouTube

  • Featured on the PBS program MN Original from the TPT St. Paul, MN Station: MN Original Videos

References[edit]

  1. ^ Opera News: Review of That Eternal Day http://www.operanews.com/Opera_News_Magazine/2011/10/Recordings/Cantus__That_Eternal_Day.html
  2. ^ Star Tribune: Review of Before Us http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/music/105111049.html
  3. ^ Cantus Website http://cantussings.org
  4. ^ Margret Hills Award for Choral Excellence http://www.chorusamerica.org/awards.cfm#hillis
  5. ^ MPR: Cantus: 2010-2011 Artists-In-Residence http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/09/20/cantus/
  6. ^ A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor, show #1309 http://prairiehome.publicradio.org/programs/2011/10/01/
  7. ^ All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 Reviews http://www.alliscalm.org/All_Is_Calm___The_Christmas_Truce_of_1914/Press___Review_1.html
  8. ^ John Atkinson of Stereophile http://www.stereophile.com/content/musical-fidelity-v-link