FAQ – Cantus Auditions

Who is Cantus looking for?

Cantus is looking for adaptable vocalists who are comfortable singing a wide range of repertoire. A typical Cantus concert may include traditional or contemporary choral works, African-American spirituals, folk songs and pop songs.  The ability to sing across all of these genres in one concert is critical.  The members of Cantus have gone through years of vocal training and have experience working as a soloist and within ensembles.

Applicants should have at least a bachelor’s degree, though a greater level of vocal maturity and performance experience is preferred. Cantus is a self-led ensemble: excellent solo, ensemble and musicianship skills are essential.  Artists are responsible for studying and learning their own music without the aid of a coach.

In addition to all of this, the ideal candidate will be flexible, easygoing and a curious musician.  Our collaborative environment requires artists who are open to thoughtful, constructive criticism and who are able to provide the same to their colleagues.  Each member of Cantus has the opportunity to work on programming and other tasks important to meeting our vision.  The work of Cantus is different than any other vocal ensemble, but we believe it to be richer and more satisfying as well.

Can you describe the audition process?

Auditions are held each year for all voice parts (tenor, baritone and bass).  The entire Cantus ensemble reviews preliminary audio submissions and materials.  Once reviewed, singers who match the qualifications necessary for Cantus are invited to come to Minneapolis to meet with the ensemble and our staff.  Audition day includes solo and ensemble singing, interviews with the artists and staff, and last but not least, social time.

Soon after your personal audition, we will be in touch with you regarding any openings for the coming season.

Can you tell me if there is a spot open?

Cantus holds auditions every season regardless of whether openings are available. We generally know by April 1 if there will be openings in the coming year.

Is this a full time position?  What is the compensation?

Singing with Cantus is a full-time, salaried position with health, dental, and additional benefits.  We offer contracts to singers on a yearly basis and, while contracted, they must live in the Twin Cities.  Currently, the beginning salary for a Cantus ensemble member is $47,476.

What is life like with Cantus?

Cantus is based in Minneapolis and St. Paul and tours an average of 13 weeks a year in addition to its home concert series, an active schedule of education outreach and an annual recording release.

Cantus is proud of its status as one of only two ensembles in the country that employs its artists full time. This policy allows the artists of Cantus to grow as citizen members of the Twin Cities, raise families and take part in community life as professional musicians. Because our artists are full-time employees of Cantus and directly involved in all artistic decisions, we have much more flexibility in meeting the goals and programming objectives of our organization.

When Cantus is not touring or recording, we are typically in rehearsal five hours each day.  (See our process for more information.)  Currently we offer four unique concert programs in the Twin Cities, two of which are used when touring.  Educational outreach is a part of our mission and we lead master classes and workshops while on the road and directing our High School Residency at home.  The ensemble is known for its ability to collaborate with other organizations: a year with Cantus may include partnering with orchestras, other choirs or music groups or even a dance company.