Saturday, July 10, 2010

Cantus 2009-10 Season Wrapup

Greetings, Cantus fans!

Time to offer thanks to all the fans we’ve seen this year across the country, and in Cantus’ hometowns of Minneapolis and Saint Paul.

Thanks are also due to our Board of Directors and close friends of the organization, who helped to shepherd the company through organizational restructuring, and a fantastic success with our annual fundraiser, which exponentially grew this year.

For next year, we look forward to presenting a lot of music a little closer to home, fulfilling grants, and as Minnesota Public Radio’s Artists in Residence for the 2010-11 season!

Listen for Cantus throughout the year on MPR, and across the state of Minnesota, often in underserved and varied communities. Our Artist in Residence program will see us regularly masterclassing students in three Minnesota high schools, culminating in a combined concert in the spring.

Our touring program is called Before Us, and in it perform songs and stories of the immigrant journey to America, with music from Leonard Bernstein, the French Voyageurs, William Billings, Lee Hoiby, and Simon and Garfunkel to name a few.

If you missed them, here’s a chance to see a video clip of our recent pop shows!

If you haven’t yet done so yet, please visit with us on Facebook, where we have a thriving community of friends, fans, families, and of course, the Cantus artists.

Here's some scenes from the past season for you!

See you next season (we kick off new performances in September)!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

All work and no play? Not this tour...

Yesterday, after performing at the beautiful Hotchkiss School Summer Portals program in Lakeville, CT, four rabidly passionate soccer fans in Cantus ventured out early in search of the perfect place to watch the World Cup semifinal #2: Germany v. Spain. Paul, Chris, Gary and myself (Adam) left early and drove up to the Massachusetts shore. Cantus will be performing on Thursday night in Rockport, MA, a lovely little sea town with a very grown-up Performing Arts Center. As we arrived at our accommodations for the next two nights, The Linden Tree Inn, we were told that no pub or restaurant in Rockport would be showing the match. Aaarrrggghh, thought we. We were told to head down to nearby Gloucester (which some folks might remember as the setting for this George Clooney-Mark Walberg vehicle). In downtown Gloucester, we found a superb little pub, called the Topside, and plunked ourselves down for lunch and football (I mean soccer). One lobster, two bowls of clam chowder, and a host of other local nubbins, not to mention the soccer beverage of choice, we were ready for the match. Gary, sporting his 1998 Germany WC shirt, and Chris threw their support cleanly behind Die Mannschaft (German for 'The Team'). Adam, a Spanish soccer fan since the early '90s, would have worn the Spanish national team shirt he received as a gift in 2000, if it had fit. Paul was decidedly neutral. The match was a joy: skillful soccer played without cheating or feigning injury (long a complaint of U.S. soccer semi-fans) and on the few threatening occasions in the first half, each side encouraged a bit of volume out of cheering supporters. In the 73rd minute, off a wonderfully struck corner, Spain took the lead, much to Adam's enjoyment. In fact, that sequence at the pub went very much like this:

(Spain scores, after many close efforts)
Chris: Dude, quiet down.
Bartender: No, really, quiet down a bit.
Adam: Sorry. Yeah! Yeah!
Gary: Rub it in, much?
Adam: Yes. Sorry.

Following the glorious Spanish victory (sorry Gary and Chris), we then trotted out to sit by the sea on the little patch of beach in downtown Rockport. Watching the tide come in, and the sun set, we were reminded of how great it was to have a job that allowed us to make music full-time and paid us to travel to these exquisite locales. Paul and Chris decided to swim out to a landing about 200 yards from shore, while Gary and Adam talked about the concert the night before. When it was time for some dinner, Paul and Chris back-stroked to shore. We left Chris lying on the beach, mostly in recovery, to return to the Linden Tree Inn for supper. After some time, the rest of the Cantus gang arrived and said that they had passed a sleeping man on the beach, realized it was Chris, and promptly harassed him into joining them for dinner.

It was a slow, beautiful, and relaxing day. Got the blood pumping with some swimming and cheering on the best soccer nations in the world, sampled some local cuisine (and about 80 oz. of local beverages), took in the breath-taking shoreline, and enjoyed the company of colleagues I'm lucky enough to call friends. All in all, a good day. Check our Facebook page to see more pictures of our tour 0ff-day. Ta ta, friends!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Friday, June 4, 2010

Covers3 kicks off tonight.

Normally I'd wait to do a blog post after an event has happened, but just was getting so excited to kick off this year's pop shows that I decided to write anyway.

It's Covers time again, and it looks like we might sell out every show! Cantus is very happy to bring back our friends Lee Blaske (commercial musician extraordinaire and husband to Twin Cities soprano Maria Jette), Dave Hagedorn (probably the best vibes player I've ever heard), percussionist Rikki Davenport (the cool guy playing tabla, congas, and djembe), and Mark Ilaug (playing sitar, guitars, and funky hair). Foss is back on guitar, I'm playing bass again, and we're presenting thirteen (!) new arrangements this year, done by nearly every member of Cantus, with music by Beck, America, Fleetwood Mac, Steven Stills, and the Beatles. By popular request, we have more a cappella in store for the evening, but the band is providing new colors and styles to the mix.

Tickets are available @ticketworks.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cantus with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra

Here you go, Chris!
Cantus with the SPCO and the incredible Kelley O'Connor.

Cantus Idol 2010

Just thought it would be a good idea to post at least ONE picture from Idol this year. Courtesy of our awesome photographer for this year's event, Jen Smith!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Terrible Pauls-y

Dear Cantus fans:

Well, it's been a pretty crazy last couple of weeks for us. May has been the month of Pauls - Not only did Paul Rudoi (Cantus Idol 2010) fend off some stiff competition, but Cantus sang alongside some pretty talented musicians you may have heard of: The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Well, not really alongside, but rather in front of, as you can see here:

Wait, no... that's the Boston Pops. Ah, here it is:

Um, whoops. That's actually Cantus with Bobby McFerrin. Hmmm... how about:

NO!!!! What is the National Lutheran Choir featuring Cantus members doing here?!?! What happened? Why can't we find the picture of Cantus with the SPCO? Oh, maybe it's because THERE ISN'T ONE!!!

Does anyone out there happen to have a photo of Cantus with the SPCO? Send it our way.

As far as the concert goes, it was pretty neat. Not only did we share the stage with the world-class musicians of the SPCO, but the concert also featured mezzo-soprano Kelley O'Conner for Kurt Weill's Seven Deadly Sins. You can find out more about her here. SPOILER ALERT!! - she has an amazing voice.