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Feb. 21, 2020

Cantus to take the stage at Northwest March 17

By Leah Newell, communication assistant

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Cantus, an acclaimed men’s vocal ensemble, is bringing its 25th-anniversary tour and exploration of the celestial heavens to Northwest Missouri State University next month.

The concert, which is free and open to the public, begins at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, in the Charles Johnson Theater at the Olive DeLuce Fine Arts Building.

“Cantus is one of the premier choral groups in the world,” Dr. Brian Lanier, professor of music, said. “Their expertise in vocal skill, musicianship, artistry and professionalism is unsurpassed. Members of the audience will have the opportunity to witness choral music at the absolute highest level.”

The ensemble’s 2019-2020 touring program, “One Giant Leap,” celebrates the allure of upward exploration, the triumph of the human spirit, and striving for excellence through innovation and technology. The poetic arc of the program is structured around the 1969 moon landing and the groundwork laid to make the historic achievement possible. The program includes works by Mohammed Fairouz, Franz Schubert, Kenneth Jennings, Byron Adams, David Bowie, Camille Saint-Saëns, Eriks Esenvalds, Z. Randall Stroope, and a piece commissioned for Cantus by Sarah Kirkland Snider. 

Cantus is widely known for its trademark warmth and blend, innovative programming and engaging performances of music ranging from the Renaissance to the 21st century. The Washington Post has hailed the Cantus sound as having “exalting finesse” and “expressive power” and refers to the “spontaneous grace” of its music making. The Philadelphia Inquirer called the group “exquisite.”

As one of the nation’s few full-time vocal ensembles, Cantus has grown in 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.

The ensemble performs more than 60 concerts each year, nationally and internationally, and in its home of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. Cantus has a rich history of collaborations with other performing arts organizations and has performed at Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, UCLA, San Francisco Performances, Atlanta’s Spivey Hall and Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival.

Cantus is the recipient of three prestigious Chorus America awards, including the 2016 Dale Warland Singers Commission Award, presented in partnership with the American Composers Forum, the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence and the Education Outreach Award. Cantus was also artist-in-residence on Minnesota Public Radio and on American Public Media’s “Performance Today.”

Integral to the Cantus mission is its commitment to preserve and deepen music education in the schools. Cantus works with more than 5,000 students each year in masterclass and workshop settings across the country. The ensemble will lead a masterclass for Northwest students while visiting the campus.

Funding support for Cantus’ appearance at Northwest is provided by the Missouri Arts Council.


Media contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704