Headshot of Cantus tenor Alberto de la Paz

Alberto de la Paz




HOMETOWN: Guadalajara, Mexico

EDUCATION: B.M.E., Music Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico, Alberto de la Paz began exploring his love for singing at a young age. A great part of his early choral experience before coming to the United States consisted of choral arrangements from a diverse variety and styles of Latin American music. He attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he graduated with high honors with a Degree in Music Education. Upon his audition he was one of the few music students selected to receive the “Talented Student Scholarship.” During his years in college he was an important member as well as soloist for several choirs and vocal ensembles like the Chamber Singers, Black Chorus, Varsity Men’s Glee Club, UI Chorale, University Mixed Chorus, and the Jazz Vocal Ensemble. Upon graduation, he was selected to participate at the Young Artist Program at the Illinois Bach Academy where he presented a concert along other young artists, and appeared as Servus for a performance of Bach’s “St. John’s Passion.” The year after graduation he started working at Leyden High School, where he co-directed five curricular choirs as well as three extracurricular vocal ensembles. He also worked as co-director with two extracurricular Jazz Vocal Ensembles at Oak Park and River Forest High School. When he isn’t busy singing, he enjoys reading a good novel or dancing salsa.


1. When did you know you wanted to sing professionally?

I don’t know if there was ever a moment when I knew I wanted to sing professionally. But I remember that one night when I was on tour in Colombia with my community choir, I looked around the room and saw a very large group of people of very diverse backgrounds gathered together to create choral music, and at that moment I decided I wanted to become a professional musician.

2. If you could commission any composer for Cantus (alive or deceased) who would it be and why?

 I think it would be César Alejandro Carrillo. He is a fantastic Venezuelan composer and arranger. I have always loved his use of harmony, and his stylistic versatility!

3. What country would you most like to visit as a member of Cantus?

 Mexico! I would love to go to my country of origin for two big reasons: The first one is so that friends and family that can’t easily travel to the US to attend a concert have the opportunity to do it. And the second one is because I believe Cantus crafts a beautiful artistic project that is unique, and that Mexican audiences would really appreciate.

4. What is your favorite hobby outside of singing?

I love to read novels of all genres. But I’m about to start a ceramics course, so I’m hoping that that becomes my new favorite hobby!

5. If you could hang out with any celebrity (alive or deceased) who would it be and why? 

Probably Jorge Drexler. I really like his music; the topics he talks about in his songs, the very diverse rhythms and styles, and his use of language.

6. If you had access to a time machine, when and where would you go?

Probably the future, 500 years from now. I think it would be more interesting to see what we can’t yet imagine, than that which we already know happened.

7. What is the most played album in your iTunes library?

It varies from week to week, but right now it is El Mal Querer by Rosalía.

8. You’re stranded on an island – which three books or movies do you bring for entertainment?

Definitely three books: The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, and Rayuela by Julio Cortázar.

9. What do you want people to know about Cantus?

I think that one of the most amazing things about Cantus is the way we work. We often mention this during our education outreach, but imagine working all the time in a group project where every decision has to be discussed and agreed upon with other 7 artists who are as prepared as you are, and are also extremely passionate about this art. The beauty of it is that we end up with a strong and cohesive artistic product where the ideas of every artist in the ensemble are represented.

10. Share with us one of your greatest days ever.

I think some of my greatest days have been, in a way, very uneventful. What I mean by that, is that one of my greatest days is going to the beach with my parents and my siblings. We usually bring all our own stuff: umbrella, portable table and chairs, snacks and drinks, and not much more. We spend all day just being there, swimming in the ocean whenever we feel like it, having a cold drink, and enjoying the conversation. We stay there until the sunset. That’s one of my greatest days.