Cantus, acclaimed as "the premier men's vocal ensemble in the United States" by Fanfare magazine, will perform at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 26 at the James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts at the College of Lake County.
Cantus is known worldwide for its engaging performances of music ranging from the Renaissance to the 21st century. The Washington Post hailed the ensemble's sound as having both "exalting finesse" and "expressive power" citing the "spontaneous grace" of its music making. As one of the country's only two full-time vocal ensembles, Cantus has grown to prominence with its distinctive approach to creating music. Working without a conductor, the members of Cantus rehearse and perform as chamber musicians, each contributing to the entirety of the artistic process.
At the James Lumber Center on Jan. 26, Cantus will perform "A Place for Us," a program exploring the concept of home. With works by Leonard Bernstein and Jean Sibelius, "A Place for Us" creates a compelling musical narrative about this universal search. Traditional Native American, Hawaiian and Mexican songs are included in the program, which also includes "Somewhere" by Leonard Bernstein; "The Finlandia Hymn" by Jean Sibelius; "We Shall Not Be Moved," arranged by Cantus; "Anthem: Lamentation Over Boston" by William Billings; "Gravedigger" by David John Matthews, arranged by Timothy C. Takach; "This Ol' Hammer," arranged by John. W. Work; "Ain' Got Time to Die" by Hall Johnson, arranged by Philip Duey; "Simple Gifts" by Joseph Brackett, arranged by Stephen Caracciolo; and "Somewhere" by Leonard Bernstein.
The ensemble is the recipient of numerous awards, including Chorus America's highest honor, the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence (2009), as well as Chorus America's Education Outreach Award (2011). Cantus was also the 2010-2011 Artist in Residence on Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media's Performance Today.
Acclaimed around the world for its trademark warmth and musical blend and its engaging performances Cantus travels to over 35 cities in its 2013-2014 season. Cantus performs more than 60 concerts each year both in national and international touring, as well as in its home of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. Cantus has performed on stages at the Kennedy Center, UCLA, San Francisco Performances, Atlanta's Spivey Hall, Bravo! Vail Music Festival, New York's Merkin Concert Hall and on the radio show "A Prairie Home Companion" with Garrison Keillor. Passionate advocates for building a new generation of musicians and audiences, Cantus includes education workshops and master classes in nearly every tour stop.
Cantus has a rich history of collaborations with other performing arts organizations, including the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Boston Pops, James Sewell Ballet and the Minnesota Orchestra. Its new recording, "Song of a Czech: Dvořák and Janáček for Men's Voices," focuses on the works of Antonin Dvořák and Leoš Janáček, two of the giants of Czech musical history who were also personal friends. Both wrote music for male chorus, taking similar inspiration from folksongs of their native lands of Bohemia and Moravia, and from all over Eastern Europe. With this new recording of repertoire by these "Bohemian brothers," Cantus explores literature rarely heard outside of Eastern Europe.
To learn more about Cantus and see complete touring information, visit www.cantussings.org/.
The nine members of Cantus, their home towns and colleges they attended are: Tenors: Aaron Humble, Kent, OH, Indiana University, Millikin University; Paul J. Rudoi, Keene, NH, The Hartt School; Gary Ruschman; Erlanger, KY, San Francisco Conservatory of Music; Northern Kentucky University; Shahzore Shah, Chicago, Lawrence University Conservatory of Music; David Walton, Nashville, TN, University of Mississippi; Harding University. Baritones: Adam Reinwald, Eugene, OR, St. Olaf College; Matthew Tintes, Fargo, ND; University of Wisconsin--Madison, North Dakota State University. Basses: Chris Foss, Council Bluffs, IA; Millikin University, University of Nebraska; Sam Green, Webb City, MO; University of Missouri--Kansas City.
Regular tickets are $33, $29 and $26, with discounts for seniors, CLC staff and alumni. CLC students and teen tickets are $16 and children under 12 are $13. Prices include $1 JLC facility fee. The Box Office is open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 90 minutes prior to the performance. For tickets, call (847) 543-2300 or visit www.clcillinois.edu/tickets. Professional touring series performances make excellent group outings, and groups of six or more people are eligible for discounted ticket prices. Call group sales at (847) 543-2431 or email JLCgroupsales@clcillinois.edu for more information.