Saturday, July 10, 2010
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! http://minnesota.publicradio.org/about/press/releases/release.php?ftrv_ident=2010/06/07/cantus.
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
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
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
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Friday, April 30, 2010
Now we are preparing for the remainder of the season, working with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra on Kurt Weill's Seven Deadly Sins and our awesome collaborators for our 3rd annual Cantus Covers Concert. But before we get there, we have some time to unleash our inner pop or rock personalities.
It's CANTUS IDOL 2010, coming up on May 10th (two Mondays from now!), and it shaping up to be a really fun event, with emcee Erin Schwab, a new pack of judges, a live auction to benefit Cantus' educational outreach efforts, and a new location at The Dakota in downtown Minneapolis. Each of us has been trying to figure out, under the radar of course, what the others are performing, but it looks like most of these songs will be heavily guarded secrets until that evening. That being said, the show itself isn't much of a secret anymore, with over three quarters of our tickets already gone! If you want to get in on the action, follow this LINK to secure your seats.
Just in case you're curious, the descriptions for the items in the live auction can be found below. If I were bidding on something, I'd definitely put my money on "Own It All". Remember, along with the collection of music found on our regular CDs, there are tracks that have NEVER been released on that DVD!
Hope all of you can make it, and thanks for reading!
STEP IT UP!
Say “happy birthday” with true style or arrange a serenade under your true love’s balcony. A quartet of Cantus singers will punctuate a special occasion or event with a song. Like a singing telegram… but way cooler.
SING IT OUT!
If you have ever found yourself sitting in the audience at a Cantus concert and had to stop yourself from standing up and joining in, tonight’s the night! Join Cantus on stage later this evening for "It’s Alright" by Curtis Mayfield. While you sing your heart out, Cantus will make you sound like a pro. Don’t worry, we’ll all clap…no matter what.
DRINK IT UP!
Have you ever stood in front of shelves of wine and picked your bottle based on the label? Let Cantus do the picking for you! The singers and Board of Cantus have selected twenty bottles of red and white wine to enhance any occasion. Each bottle comes with an explanation of why we chose it for you. Cheers!
OWN IT ALL!
Be the envy of the Cantus fan world! The guys raided the archives and created a one-of-kind audio DVD with every piece Cantus has released… and several they have not. It’s a collection sure to put your sound system through its paces. They have also included a framed and signed photo of their smiling mugs to beautify your home.
SHOW IT OFF!
Treat your friends and family to a Cantus concert in your home or backyard! You provide the home and up to ten guests and we provide the rest. The singers will entertain with a 45-minute set. Board members Amanda Davisson and Tom Northenscold will serve as your personal chef and sommelier.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Most Recent Book You Read:
Tim Takach: I read The Colorado Kid by Stephen King over Christmas, and surprisingly I didn't like it. It was a short, pulp fiction paperback, and I get what he was did with the story, but it left me needy.
Aaron Humble: The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart. by Bill Bishop
Matt Tintes: Pure Drivel by Steve Martin
Toughest Thing You Sing this Season:
Matt Tintes: Mountain Nights. Seriously! It's hard for me to be that quiet.
Gary Ruschman: There's one section of the Schubert that just goes too fast to breathe!
Aaron Humble: I'm guessing it will be something in the Weill!
Aaron Humble: Work smarter not harder.
Gary Ruschman: Fearful people do stupid things.
Matt Tintes: It's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.
Tim Takach: Work hard. Play harder. Eat plenty of bacon.
Guilty Pleasure TV:
Tim Takach: I only watch two shows, Lost and Heroes, both about a season and a half behind on DVD, and neither are guilty pleasures. I enjoy being a geek. My favorite goes to Battlestar Galactica.
Matt Tintes: Oh God, too many to count. Let's say..."Smallville".
Gary Ruschman: Police Chases!
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Driving from Springfield, MO to Muncie, IN yesterday, we found ourselves in St. Louis at lunchtime. We decided to stop at a place called Frazer's in the Benton Park neighborhood, which proved to satisfy everyone's appetites. The weather was beautiful, so we even sat outside! A luxury virtually unheard of for March in Minnesota.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
In between these two events we were blessed to see several performance by the elementary school's dance troupe, accompanied by an authentic drumming circle. We decided it would be great to post one of the videos we recorded that day. You could feel the gymnasium's bleachers shaking with each beat of the drum, and the dancers' intricate clothing chimed away with other fascinating sounds.
We hope you enjoy!
Thursday, February 25, 2010
This is Matt Tintes (baritone) and I just wanted you all to know that Cantus just spent an awesome week in
When we’re on tour we stop to eat at all kinds of places, but usually when we’re traveling we just go the places closest to the Interstate. Well in our endeavor to find a, let’s say “Panera”, one day, we came upon an eatery called…are ya ready... “Cantus’”! We sat down and a nice young girl came to wait on us and was wearing a t-shirt that read Cantus’. We asked her if we could get that shirt, and her look of confusion conveyed a sense of “Either y’all have girlie tastes in t-shirts, or that’s the most to-the-point pick up line I’ve heard in a while.” After some hasty explanation we met the owner, Mark Cantu, and he gave us all Cantus’ drink holders, and we gave him a CD. We almost sang for him, but we didn’t want to compete with the Kid Rock album that had been playing…for nearly an HOUR…not that I’m complaining.
When we arrived at our hotel in
After our matinee performance in
All in all, our
Friday, February 12, 2010
As I was sitting at my desk today, catching up on my email, I was thinking back to the concert we performed last night for all the students participating in the Minnesota Music Education Association All-State Choir. Every year they have rehearsals for their big concert at the same church where we practice every day: Westminster Presbyterian Church in downtown Minneapolis. There was this buzz of musical energy radiating through the hallways and rooms of Westminster yesterday as we were preparing to start our own rehearsal. You could hear the different choirs rehearsing in all the different rooms around the church. It brought me back to my high school days, singing with the All-State choir in Peoria, Illinois. I recently transferred my All-State cassette tapes onto CD's in order to sync them to my iPod. Luckily I got a little help from my father-in-law and the CD-recorder in his choir classroom. (Yeah, we didn't get our recordings on fancy discs or download cards back then!)
Monday, February 8, 2010
First, the Cantus artists brainstorm themes and stories that we want to explore: along with 'Before Us' for 2010-11, we've also selected the theme of 'On the Shoulders of Giants' for our 2011-12 Touring Program. That title is derived from Sir Isaac Newton's quotation 'If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants', an obvious homage to the great thinkers that came before him. To Cantus' end, that means masterworks for men's voices by master composers: Liszt, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, and more. But that's only a first half; the second half will speak of a different type of 'giants'--larger-than-life personalities and folk heroes like Frankenstein, Johnny Appleseed, Paul Bunyan, and Goliath, just to name a few.
But I digress. After a theme has been chosen, we then bring our favorite music, old or new, classical or more popular, to a meeting. For a Cantus program, good music is good music, and if it fits our theme and better tells the story, it goes on the program, even if that means pairing William Billings with Dave Matthews. Typically, we begin with about 100 pieces for each theme, submitted by all the singers. All pieces are listened to or sung through by the whole ensemble, and then fun really begins: discussing, eliminating, re-arranging, choosing, and finally, selecting a suitable program order for the chosen pieces. I would estimate it takes us 4-5 hours of meeting time to put together a program we all love and are excited to sing. It is a time-consuming process, and might look a lot like how the U.S. Congress works, but it is an extremely important process. Inevitably, every single artist in the ensemble has a piece they suggested on the program, and as we sing a program every night, we see that person's tastes and artistic sensibilities on stage. It also gives each artist a greater 'buy-in' into the musical process and overall product, invaluable for an artist-led ensemble.
By the way, Cantus loves suggestions from fans and audience members, so if you have a favorite piece or poem that fits our program themes, let us know. Comment on this blog post with your suggestions.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
One of the best parts of touring with Cantus is the opportunity to experience new places. As part of our Southern Tour, I got to visit a place I've always wanted to go. I'm talking about the Shaker Village in Pleasant Hill, Kentucky. An Active Shaker Community until 1910, restoration began in the 1960s. Today it's on the register of historic places and it's an incredibly cool place to visit. Walking to breakfast the morning after sleeping incredibly soundly, I couldn't believe how active and cheerful the birds sounded. In the West Family Dwelling, I was greeted by a friendly cat lounging on a couch in the first floor living area. I've always been intrigued by Shaker life. But after spending a night in this beautiful village, I decided to share my enthusiasm on the Cantus blog!
- They live in community
- They value hard work
- They value quality and aesthetics
- They prefer natural beauty over decoration
- They value vocal music
- They believe that men and women should be equal in the church
- The highest ranking member of the church was held by a woman (Mother Ann)