Hailed as “the premier men’s vocal ensemble in the United States” (Fanfare) and winner of the prestigious Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence from Chorus America, Cantus return to Rockport for a thrilling holiday-themed program.

Cantus is acknowledged around the world for their programmatic versatility, artistic excellence and charismatic personality.  The “intellectually, emotionally and musically rich” (Star Tribune) men’s vocal ensemble Cantus is widely known for its trademark warmth and blend, innovative programming and its engaging performances of music ranging from the Renaissance to the 21st century.

“exalting finesse…and expressive power” The Washington Post

As one of the nation’s few full-time vocal ensembles, Cantus has grown in prominence with its distinctive approach to creating music. Working without a conductor, the members of Cantus rehearse and perform as chamber musicians, each contributing to the entirety of the artistic process. This collaborative work style allows Cantus to be flexible, adaptive and ready to embrace new ideas.

Cantus performs more than 60 concerts each year both in national and international touring, and in its home of Minneapolis-St. Paul. Committed to the expansion of the vocal music repertoire, Cantus actively commissions new music and seeks to unearth rarely performed repertoire for men’s voices. In addition to The Four Loves composers Lang, Treece, Barnwell and Gregorio (all Pulitzer Prize winners), Cantus has commissioned Sarah Kirkland Snider, Nico Muhly and Byron Adams. Cantus has received commissioning grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Chorus America, American Composers Forum and Chamber Music America.

The ensemble is heard frequently on classical and public radio nationwide as regular guests on A Prairie Home Companion and on Performance Today. Cantus has released 17 full-length recordings as well as the recent EP Anthem on the group’s self-titled label. Cantus is the recipient of three prestigious Chorus America awards, including the 2016 Dale Warland Singers Commission, the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence (2009), and the Education Outreach Award (2011). Cantus was also the 2010-2011 Artist in Residence on Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media’s Performance Today.  Integral to the Cantus mission is its commitment to preserve and deepen music education in the schools. Cantus works with more than 5,000 students each year in master class and workshop settings across the country.

PROGRAM

Storytelling is a wondrous and meaningful part of the holiday season. In “Three Tales of Christmas,” Cantus reimagines beloved stories through familiar carols alongside new holiday classics. Featuring narrated passages from such classic holiday tales as A Christmas CarolGift of the Magi, and ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, “Three Tales of Christmas” reminds us of the meaning and joy of the season with fresh perspective and just the right amount of nostalgia.

God Rest, Ye Merry Gentlemen | Make We Joy Now in this Feast | Love Came Down at Christmas
Silver and Gold | In The Bleak Midwinter | Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming | The Three Kings 
Demon in my View | Wassail | Ola Gjeilo | Ubi Caritas | Joy to the World 
With a Thankful Heart | Noel Nouvelet | Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas 

 

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