Friday, August 21, 2009


So most folks know by now that a Tornado hit the south side of Downtown Minneapolis on Tuesday. Cantus was rehearsing at Westminster only a few blocks away from "the action." We rehearse in a children's choir room with no windows and a very dry acoustic. This helps us hear all of the mistakes and doesn't allow for much distraction. Unfortunately it also didn't allow us to hear the Tornado sirens. Lucky for us, one of the Westminster folks came to get us. We went down to the basement, sat on the floor in the hallway and continued rehearsing. Not until one of the Westminster staff joked that this event was "our fault" did we even acknowledge that we were rehearsing They Call the Wind Maria from Lerner and Loewe's Paint Your Wagon. Pretty hilarious. Thankfully Westminster and the surrounding buildings were not harmed by the extreme weather.

Nonetheless, it's great to be back in rehearsal making music again. We'll be on stage before we know it--and I, for one, can't wait!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Back to Work!!

Cantus jumps back to work with the start of rehearsals tomorrow, Aug. 17th. After a very eventful summer, and a little break, we are working on putting together 3 different programs in the next 3-4 weeks: our normal Touring Program (this year it is called 'Elemental'), a special program for a tour with Allied Productions in September, and some early work on our Christmas shows: All is Calm: the Christmas Truce of 1914; and 'Away in a Manger', our annual holiday show at Harriet Island in St. Paul, MN.

'Elemental' is a program about the four Aristotelean elements: Fire, Wind, Water, and Earth. When these four elements are in perfect balance, Aristotle writes that a Fifth Element emerges: the Spirit. That is what Cantus hopes to achieve with this program. Some highlights from the 'Elemental' touring program include: music from 20th Century masters Zoltan Kodaly and Veljo Tormis; a wonderful part song by Franz Schubert that uniquely interprets a poem by Goethe about a sea-going apparition; a feisty setting of Greek palindrome by Twin Cities composer Abbie Betinis called 'Yhinx' that actually puts a hex on a former lover; and a host of other pieces from Japan, Sweden, Scotland, the Republic of Georgia, Venezuela, and the U.S.

We are in rehearsal weekdays from 1-6pm at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis, MN. Rehearsals are open: if you want to see how the music is made, schedule a drop-in to rehearsal by emailing! Happy Singing!