Cantus Annual Report FY18

With the generous support of its donors and audiences, Cantus continues to engage our community, foster a bright future for ensemble singing, and serve as an ambassador of Minnesota’s rich choral tradition to audiences around the world.

The organization ended its most recent fiscal year well positioned to advance its mission. Please click here to view a copy of its FY18 audited financial statements.

Cantus sings the National Anthem at a Minnesota Twins game on July 6, 2018.
(Photo: Tom Northenscold)

Advancing the Arts in the Greater Twin Cities Community

“One of the most reliably insightful and entertaining groups on the Minnesota classical music circuit.” (Star Tribune, 7.18.2018)

Deepening its commitment to Minnesota audiences, Cantus expanded its presence in the Greater Twin Cities with more concerts and appearances in new venues. Highlights of the season included:

  • In September, Cantus shared the stage with Sweet Honey in the Rock® for a special one-night-only collaborative concert at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.
  • Its fall program – Discovery of Sight – explored what it means to truly see, earning critical acclaim: “In Cantus’ joyful, unpretentious performances, they cut directly to the quick of the evening’s message – that even in a world we habitually view through dark lenses, moments of brilliant illumination are possible, some of them mediated by music.” (Star Tribune, 10.13.17)
  • In December, Christmas with Cantus merged music and storytelling in “Three Tales of Christmas” and earned acclaim as “the ideal confluence of nostalgic and new.” (Pioneer Press, 12.13.17) The concerts featured the world premiere of a new setting of “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Cantus bass Chris Foss.
  • In its second year, the summer chamber series drew inspiration from folk songs and prompted the Star Tribune to praise the popular program as “buoyant, joyful, pleasingly precise and brimming with dynamic detail.” (7.18.18)
  • With support from Chorus America and the American Composers Forum, Cantus commissioned a new work from Gabriel Kahane – “Coffee with Borges” – and gave its world premiere in Minneapolis in September 2017.
  • In March, Cantus was honored to give the inaugural concert for Westminster Hall, a new performance space at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis.
Cantus gives the inaugural concert of Westminster Hall, the new performance space at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis. (Photo: Tom Northenscold)

Representing Minnesota’s Choral Tradition Around the World

“Tightly blended voices, meticulously balanced with subtle treble highlights from high-range tenors came through with a clarity that I’ve never experienced.” (Philadelphia Inquirer, 10.29.2017)

Cantus delights about 20,000 audience members around the world each year, and the singers serve as ambassadors for Minnesota’s strong choral community. Highlights included:

  • Cantus completed its first-ever tour of East Asia, including three performances in South Korea, five in China, and two in Taiwan. In Taiwan, Cantus joined three other men’s vocal ensembles – Taipei Male Choir, UK-based Purple Vocals, and Munich-based Die Singphoniker – to give the world premiere of Ko Matsushita’s Te Deum.
  • Cantus performed in more than 30 cities across the nation, from Fairbanks to Philadelphia. In the 2017-18 season, the ensemble sang in such cities as New York, Dallas, Detroit, Las Vegas, Nashville, Denver, San Antonio, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
  • Cantus performed at WQXR’s Greene Space in New York, as well as at Vermont Public Radio, Colorado Public Radio, WCCO-Minneapolis, KTVA-Anchorage, and other media outlets across the country.
  • The singers of Cantus led master classes and workshops for hundreds of elementary through college students across the country. These included engagements at the Texas A&M University – Kingsville, Concordia College, Hampden Sydney College, and Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale.
Cantus performs in Taiwan’s National Concert Hall in October 2017. From left: Zachary Colby, Jacob Christopher, David Geist, Matthew Goinz, Chris Foss, Paul Scholtz, Samuel Green, Adam Fieldson

Serving Our Community

Cantus is committed to fostering a vibrant future for ensemble singing and serving as a cultural resource for our community. Highlights included:

  • Cantus’ award-winning High School Residency program marked its 10th year. Throughout the 2017-18 school year, Cantus worked with the talented students at Fridley, Minneapolis South, and New Prague high schools.
  • In May, Cantus partnered with StreetSong MN, a choir that includes people experiencing homelessness, to offer a series of three free community concerts in Minneapolis and St. Paul. With support from the Minnesota State Arts Board, this program – “Light in the Soul: Singing for a Brighter Tomorrow” – brought Cantus’ music to audiences that otherwise may not have had access to it.
  • Cantus is grateful for its longtime collaboration with Classical Minnesota Public Radio that makes its music accessible to a broad audience. In 2017-18, Classical MPR broadcast “Christmas with Cantus” live from Antonello Hall at the MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis.
Cantus partners with StreetSong MN at Westminster Presbyterian on May 10, 2018.