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. Our High School Residency program won the 2011 Chorus America Award for Excellence. 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

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 10-12, College and Graduate Levels, Community Ensembles
We love to work with choruses and ensembles willing to take feedback and push their music-making to the next level! A master class begins with a performance by Cantus, followed by individual introductions and a brief history of the organization. Student ensembles present one to three pieces, depending upon the length of session. Cantus artists identify three specific areas 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. If observers are present, their visual feedback is integrated into the critique process. Session ends with Q&A.


60-75 minutes; College, Graduate and Professional Levels
We take pride in our collaborative chamber music process and have a great time illustrating it through this presentation. In this demonstration, Cantus artists take turns presenting on a variety of aspects of our process including: vowel matching, ensemble diction, leading with the breath, solo vs. ensemble singing and ensemble emotional expression. The full Cantus ensemble illustrates various ideas by performing full pieces and excerpts of pieces integrated with spoken presentations. Questions are taken throughout the session.

Guided Performance

45-60 minutes; All Ages
We are committed to interesting programming and relish the opportunity to share our love for choral music with audiences at all levels of music experience. In school performances, Cantus artists take audience members on a trip around the world across 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. Suggested project activities related to the program are also available for teachers interested in using the performance as a catalyst for outside research on a specific composer, musical genre or other related subject.

Vocal Technique in Ensemble Singing

30 minutes; Grades 10-12, College and Graduate Levels
(description coming soon!)

Singing without a Conductor

30-45 minutes; Grades 10-12, College and Graduate Levels
(description coming soon!)

Telling a Story through Song

30-45 minutes; Grades 10-12, College and Graduate Levels
(description coming soon!)

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

30 minutes; College and Graduate Levels
(description coming soon!)

Cantus Residency

Single to multi-day; College, Graduate and Professional
Cantus has visited a number of campuses over the years to spend a few days working with as many students as possible as a pre-cursor to a final performance. A residency can fit into a single day or be stretched over multiple days. Typically, a residency will include master classes with various school ensembles, a meal involving artists/students/faculty, and a collaborative piece involving selected students or a full ensemble performing with Cantus in the final concert.

Open Rehearsals

One hour; Any Age
Cantus opens the door to our rehearsals in Minneapolis/St. Paul one to two times a month. These rehearsals are free and open to the public and offer a in-depth look at how Cantus works together. The rehearsal lasts 45 minutes and is followed by 15 minutes of Q&A. Bring your students or a group from your choir. There is no charge, but we do ask that you make a reservation so that we can plan for you. With a reservation, we will send you additional information on where to meet and what to expect. We’d love to see you!

Call 612.435.0046 or write to make your arrangements to attend. You can find the open rehearsal schedule here.

Conference Presentations

We also offer presentations or workshops for conferences. Typically these will take place the day before or day after a performance at the conference. Sessions include topics such as: The Changing Male Voice, Male Voice Repertoire, Chamber Ensemble Technique for Singers.

Custom Sessions

Our collaborative work within the ensemble extends to many partners in our community. We are constantly pushing ourselves to develop new ways of communicating our process and are always aiming to design experiences that will have the greatest impact on participants. We encourage you to bring your ideas to the table in conversation with us, so that together we can create a session that meets the needs of your organization or event.