for Educators

Cantus is committed to ensuring the future of ensemble singing by mentoring young singers and educators and engaging with students at every stage of their musical development. Since the very early years, Cantus has been offering master classes and lecture demonstrations as well as guided performances. We can also tailor experiences to meet the unique needs of your organization/event.

At home in Minnesota, we engage three Twin Cities area high schools in our annual High School Residency program. Applications are due in the fall for the coming school year.

If you have questions about bringing Cantus to your school or community, please contact us at education@cantussings.org.

Below is our menu of outreach activities. Many can be combined with a Cantus public performance to create a meaningful Cantus residency in your school or city.

Master Class

60-90 minutes; Grades 9-12, College and Graduate Levels, Community Ensembles
A master class begins with a short performance by Cantus, followed by individual introductions and a brief history of the organization. Student or community ensembles perform one to three pieces, depending upon the length of session. Cantus artists identify specific areas (technical or artistic) to work on and take turns leading the master class. The director remains at the podium to allow for direct application of principles discussed in the master class. Observers are welcome. Q&A to follow, time permitting.

Lecture/Demonstration

60-75 minutes; College, Graduate and Professional Levels
In this demonstration, Cantus artists take turns presenting on a variety of technical areas of our process including: vowel matching, ensemble diction, leading without a conductor, voice technique in ensemble singing and emotional expression. The full Cantus ensemble illustrates various ideas by performing full pieces and excerpts of pieces integrated with spoken presentations. Q&A to follow, time permitting.

Guided Performance

45-60 minutes; All Ages
In school performances for all grades, Cantus take audience members on a trip through a variety of music styles, genres and languages. Artists prepare audiences for each piece with introductory information and questions to open the door for discovery. Audiences will learn about various composers, music styles and experience the story being told through each piece. Performances include one to two breaks for Q&A. For school audiences, teachers are provided with a program and list of frequently asked questions prior to the performance.

Vocal Technique in Ensemble Singing

30-45 minutes; All Ages
Cantus dives into how they create their trademark warmth and blend through an interactive vocal technique crash course. Singers demonstrate proper posture, breathing, and vowel matching techniques used in Cantus’ performance preparation. Tone coloring, resonance matching, and vibrato usage is also addresses as Cantus demonstrates and performs excerpts and whole pieces for the audience. Q&A to follow, time permitting.

Performing without a Conductor

30 minutes; Grades 9-12, College and Graduate Levels, Community Ensembles and Chamber Ensembles welcome
How do you start a piece when nobody is waving their hands in front of you? Which singer has the most important line? How do we end this section together? Over the years, the men of Cantus have developed a successful, collaborative chamber music process and are ready to answer these questions and more. As equal partners in artistic direction, the singers describe and demonstrate their on-stage and rehearsal room techniques, along with performances of excerpts and entire songs from their touring show. Q&A to follow, time permitting.

Telling a Story through Song

45-60 minutes; Grades 9-12, College and Graduate Levels, Community Ensembles
Cantus’ vision is to “give voice to shared human experiences.” How does that influence what repertoire we sing? Should a Kelly Clarkson tune be sung right after a Bach chorale? In this interactive session, Cantus builds a mock program from the ground up, using audience sourced programming ideas to create a meaningful concert experience. Q&A to follow, time permitting. Projector and laptop required from this presentation.

Making Music in the Real World: What comes after College? 

30 minutes; Grades 9-12, College and Graduate Levels
Not every musician’s path after college is the same. In this presentation, the singers of Cantus share personal insight on what can be expected from the 21st Century musician. Topics include a brief history of Cantus’ beginnings, personal accounts of working as professional musicians, and suggestions and encouragement for young musicians seeking to live our their passions. Q&A to follow, time permitting.

Your Ensemble Here (Collaboration) 

60 minutes; Grades 10-12, College Levels, Community Ensemble 
Cantus will rehearse and perform with your music group on a pre-approved piece. Music may be chosen from previously commissioned works by Cantus, standard repertoire or newly commissioned pieces for your group. The work done at this session is a wonderful opportunity for singers or musicians in your school or community to be able to perform with the professional singers of Cantus. This collaboration may be included in the concert program as well.