Cantus at Colonial

image from cantussings.org

Last Friday Nathan and I went to another wonderful Cantus concert at Colonial Church of Edina. It was part of their On the Shoulders of Giants series. For those of you who aren’t familiar with them (if it’s possible), Cantus is a group of nine talented singers with strong artistic vision for enhancing the vocal music scene in the Twin Cities and abroad.  They rehearse and perform without a conductor, which affords them a connection to each other and the audience that communicates great things.

Walking to our seats was a little odd, in a good funny way.  We had decided to sit in the balcony.  For both of us, the last time we were in that particular balcony was shortly after we changed our status from best friends to “in a relationship.”  Nathan was singing with the Northwestern College Choir for a church service. My mom and I went to enjoy a free concert.  My favorite tenor section leader twitterpatedly pointed me out to his friends, and I knew that’s what he was doing, so it was fun.

But we are talking about Cantus, not our love story. Although, Cantus used to be part of my love story since I had a crush on several of them long before Nathan and I started dating…but don’t tell them. Watching my hubby sing with them is fun, but it’s great to have him sit next to me at a performance as well.

Seriously now, back to the concert…

The talented gentlemen of Cantus offered another program of musical variety, intellectual depth, and palpable emotion. What Nathan and I both especially appreciated was the way that the whole experience was enhanced by the thought-provoking introductions between the sets. For some reason, the intros in this concert just seemed more meaningful to us than the ones at past concerts. During a time when Nathan and I are striving to integrate the arts more fully into our life, we were refreshed by the perspectives offered.

Tim Takach reviewed the manner in which we humans perceive art – poetry, in particular – differently over time because as we grow and change we understand art in new ways. Chris Foss asked the question, “Would we even remember ourselves and what we’ve gone through if we forgot how to sing?”

The ensemble performed a wide variety of music, from 12th century Perotin to 19th century Schumann, to 21st century Michael Jackson.  And then there was the compressed snapshot of all of the above – an amusing arrangement by Chris Foss of Lennon and MacCartney’s “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” Not only did we get to hear compositions by three of the singers (Takach, Foss, and Rudoi), we got to hear each of the individual voices, including smooth high tones of the newest member, tenor David Walton.

This particular concert series in the Twin Cities has concluded, but Cantus is doing concerts in Michigan this weekend:

Friday, Oct. 28, 8:00 at Staples Recital Hall in Mt. Pleasant, MI
Saturday, Oct. 29, 8:00 at Millikin Auditorium in Traverse City, MI
Sunday, Oct. 30, Concordia College in Ann Arbor

Check their Complete Concert Calendar for more information about November concerts, Christmas With Cantus, and their moving annual All is Calm performances. The Cantus website has a plethora of information and recordings.

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