Headshot of Cantus tenor Paul Scholtz

Paul Scholtz





EDUCATION: B.A., English, Luther College


Tenor Paul Scholtz is in his fifth season as tenor with Cantus. In addition to singing, he is completing his fourth year on the Artistic Council and beginning his second three-year term on the Cantus Board of Directors.

When not performing with the ensemble or executing his other duties as one of the eight artistic co-directors of Cantus, Paul can be found at home — likely singing! — with his wife, Marie, and their two sons, Louis and Loren.

Paul’s hobbies include spending time outdoors, running, biking, and playing cards.


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

I have always loved to sing, but I first really considered the possibility when I heard a Cantus recording of Dúlamán by Michael McGlynn in high school. I got even more excited when I found out an older neighbor, Michael Hanawalt, had been a founding member.

2. What do you look for when commissioning for Cantus?

One of the things I value most about singing with Cantus is how fully we get to use our instruments. We sing really loudly, really softly, and everything in between at the extremes of our range. I love it when a composer gives us a piece of music that’s both beautifully set a compelling text and requires a fully engaged vocalism.

3. What is your favorite thing about performing with Cantus?

For me, there is nothing better than getting to sing a program with the colleagues who you created it with. We really believe in the work that we do, and sometimes there are these beautiful intersections of repertoire, program, and personal or societal context where magic happens.

One personal example comes from a program called “When I Grow Up” that we mounted soon after my son Louis was born. The show was about growing up and coming to know who we are, and it closed with Billy Joel’s Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel). The lyrics are simple and poignant, and it got me every time!

4. What is your favorite hobby outside of singing?

Whenever we can, my family and I love to head up North to my wife’s parent’s cabin on Lake Superior for some time off the grid!

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

Prue Leith from “The Great British Bake Off”. I love her sense of humor and she has the greatest sense of style. She seems like a person who has incredible stories and good advice.

6. What is your favorite memory from tour?

I love to explore a new town large or small, warm or cold, on foot. One of my best memories from tour is a nine mile walk with Paul Rudoi that ended in a pitch dark plunge off a pier into Lake Michigan!

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

Bright Morning Stars by the Wailin’ Jennys.

8. Who is your favorite singer?

That’s hard! It depends on the day, but some of the contenders include Beyoncé, Dolly Parton, Joan Baez, Ella Fitzgerald, Fritz Wunderlich, Freddie Mercury, Sara Bareilles, and Ruth Moody. I’ll go with Dolly.

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

We are truly artistic co-directors and have to make all of our musical and artistic decisions by coming to consensus. We are extremely engaged and accountable at each level of our art-making: programming, rehearsing, and performing. It is really hard work, but we believe it is what sets us apart and makes us who we are; you will get the same high level, sincere performance the first show through the fiftieth!

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

Since my wife and I have had our two boys my life has become more rich in many ways and I appreciate what I have more intimately. I would say it’s hard to pick, but any day spent with family (immediate, extended, and chosen) is pretty special.