While prominent chamber ensembles specializing in instrumental music abound, it’s considerably rare to find a versatile—let alone all-male—vocal chamber ensemble with sterling national credentials. Cantus is a group of professional soloists adept at interpreting meaningful music from all over the spectrum, from “classical” repertoire and contemporary compositions to more populist fare spanning rock, pop, and world music. One would be hard-pressed to find another group that performs works by Josquin des Prez, Jean Sibelius, Björk, and Dave Matthews.
But it is the ensemble’s distinct approach to performing “serious” chamber music that sets them apart. In lieu of one music director or conductor, Cantus utilizes a democratic approach more akin to pop a cappella groups, in which an individual member oversees the production and arrangement of the performance of a given piece, with input from the other singers throughout. The group also emphasizes individual Bel Canto vocal tone and personal nuance in order to create its signature ensemble sound.
For fans of new music, Cantus regularly commissions and creates new compositions, both secular and sacred, which are regularly published by the Neil A. Kjos Music Company as part of the ensemble’s “Music for Men’s Voices” choral series. In addition to regular performances, an array of educational outreach programs underlies the group’s passion for encouraging others (particularly young men) to sing.
- Public Transportation: Depends on venue
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Performances/Programs: Five programs with multiple performances, plus other performances nationwide
- Ticket Prices: General admission $25, kids (12 and under) $12.50, and student Rush for season concerts $10; other events vary. Serve as a volunteer to get free tickets
- Subscriptions: Not listed, contact for details
- Membership: Donations from $25–$5,000+ are very welcome.