Collaboration has been an integral part of Cantus’ identity since the beginnings of the organization at St. Olaf college some 25 years ago.
The artists of Cantus program, rehearse, and perform collaboratively — reaching consensus on artistic matters large and small, and together performing the function of artistic director in addition to singing.
Larger collaborations with outside organizations have been a natural extension of our organizational structure, and over the years we’ve worked with many notable artistic partners including The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, James Sewell Ballet, Theater Latté Da, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Boston Pops, and Chanticleer, among others. No less importantly, we’ve engaged and created music with local organizations including Voices of Hope, StreetSong-MN, the YWCA, and St. Stephen’s Human Services. It is through collaborations like these that Cantus is able to fulfill more deeply our vision to give voice to shared human experiences.
Now, in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of Minneapolis Police, we wanted to do our part to reflect the pain, anger, and need for change in our community. This desire led us to the creation of our Championing Black Voices series.
Through this online series, we will be collaborating with a variety of Black artists, giving them the space to bring to light their lived experiences and artistic visions using our platform alongside our voices.
We can’t wait to share these projects with you.
VOCALESSENCE SINGERS OF THIS AGE (VESOTA)
G. PHILLIP SHOULTZ, III
VOCALESSENCE SINGERS OF THIS AGE
Interview with G. Phillip Shoultz, III
“Chinese Proverb” by Sharon Durant & Ysaye M. Barnwell
CANTUS STATEMENT ON THE MURDER OF GEORGE FLOYD
On May 25, George Floyd, a Black man, was murdered by Minneapolis police. Our Twin Cities community is in turmoil, and we are all taking a hard look at the systemic racism that Black and Brown people face every day.
Cantus’ vision is to give voice to shared human experiences. But as an ensemble mostly comprising white men, how can we stay engaged and do our part to lift up the voices of the Black and Brown community to affect meaningful change?
We know that words can only take us so far.
If you, like us, are seeing ways to engage and make a difference, we borrowed a list of resources from our friends at Arbeit Opera Theatre. Please do what you can to support the communities suffering from the impacts of systemic racism and to make our world more equitable and just.
The problems faced by marginalized communitites will not be resolved in the coming days or weeks. Real change will take determination and fortitude by everyone for years to come to ensure we don’t lose the passion and focus of how we feel at this moment.