Cantus to Headline VikeSing Festival
VikeSing, a celebration of the male voice, is set for Monday, Oct. 1, on the Augustana University campus. Designed as a special musical event held to affirm the participation of young men in the choral art, the Festival is open to male singers in grades 9-12 from the quad-state area. Under the direction of Dr. Paul Nesheim, conductor of the Augustana Choir and Director of Choral Activities, singers will participate in rehearsals and clinics during the day then perform in a Festival Concert on the evening of Monday, Oct. 1, in the Mary Sommervold Hall at the Washington Pavilion — that concert will feature Cantus, one of the premier men's vocal ensembles in the United States.
Called “intellectually, emotionally and musically rich” by the Star Tribune, Cantus is widely known for its trademark warmth and blend, innovative programming and its engaging performances of music ranging from the renaissance to the 21st century. The Washington Post has hailed the Cantus sound as having both “exalting finesse” and “expressive power” and refers to the “spontaneous grace” of its music making.
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. This collaborative work style allows Cantus to be flexible, adaptive and ready to embrace new ideas. The performance — whether in a recording or in a live concert — is one that would be entirely impossible without the artistic involvement of the entire ensemble.
Cantus performs more than 60 concerts each year both in national and international touring, and in its home of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. Cantus has performed at Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, UCLA, San Francisco Performances, Atlanta’s Spivey Hall and Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival. During the 2015-2016 season Cantus presented what the Pioneer Press called a “cogent and well-executed” touring program, "The Four Loves," featuring four Cantus commissions for each of the four different loves including Pulitzer Prize winner David Lang, Roger Treece, Joseph Gregorio and Ysaye Barnwell.
Cantus has a rich history of collaborations with other performing arts organizations, including the Minnesota Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Boston Pops, the Guthrie Theater, Theater Latté Da and the James Sewell Ballet. The ensemble is heard frequently on classical and public radio nationwide as regular guests on "A Prairie Home Companion" with Garrison Keillor and on "Performance Today." Cantus has released 17 full length recordings, as well as the recent EP Anthem on the group’s self-titled label. 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 (2009) and the Education Outreach Award (2011). Cantus was also the 2010-2011 Artist in Residence on Minnesota Public Radio and 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 master class and workshop settings across the country.
For more information or to register for the Festival, please visit augie.edu/VikeSing.