Chamber Choral Ensemble 'Cantus' Performs In Denison University Vail Series Program
Posted: January 28, 2005
Denison University's popular Vail Series will continue its 25th season with a performance by "Cantus" at 8 p.m., Friday (Feb. 11) in Swasey Chapel. Cantus, a 12 member all-male choral ensemble, will perform 15 choral arrangements, including five that have been commissioned by Cantus members themselves. A limited number of tickets for the performance may be available to the public at $15 each. Contact the Vail Series hotline at (740) 587-6557 for information on ticket availability.
Cantus, which has performed more than 250 concerts in the nation during the past seven years, was founded in the fall of 1995 when a few college friends gathered on the campus of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn. The members' objective was to spend time away from the rigors of college life doing something they enjoyed: singing. During the next two years the ensemble grew to 12 members and began performing at venues on campus. Since then, Cantus has appeared at AmericaFest, the American Choral Directors' Association's National Convention, the Newport Music Festival, and numerous choral festivals. In a recent review, the Cleveland Plain Dealer raved, "The Minnesotans come across as down-to-earth types who present their music with the eagerness of hometown guys singing for the pleasure of friends and neighbors."
In addition to its work as a performing ensemble, Cantus is also active as a proponent of music education, encouraging people of all ages, and especially young men, to sing. In September 2000, Cantus established itself as a full-time nonprofit arts organization based in Minnesota Its members are frequent clinicians at festivals and schools of all levels across country. For the last three years Cantus has also appeared in concert with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in a holiday program titledCantus and Carols.Cantus is resident artist at St. John's University, Collegeville, Minn.
Friday night's performance will include "The Wreck of Edmund Fitzgerald" by Gordon Lightfoot and "Ave Maria" by Franz Biebl. In one segment of the program, entitled '... against the dying of the light,' Cantus will perform "Two Laments on Dylan Thomas" by Kenneth Jennings and "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" by Randall Thompson. In the final segment, a Hebrew folk song, "El Yivneh Hagalil," arranged by Peter Sozio and the Brazillian song, "Tres Cantos Nativos Dos Indios Krao," arranged by Marcos Leite will be performed.
Members include tenors Brian Arreola, Bradley Cramer-Erbes, Albert Jordan, Gary Ruschman, Peter Zvanovec, baritones Kelvin Chan and Adam Reinwald, and basses Tom McNichols and Tim Takach. Michael Hanawalt serves as executive director to Cantus, and Erick Lichte is the artistic coordinator. Cantus recordings, including some of the works performed at the concert, will be available in the lobby during intermission and after the concert.
During its two-day residency at Denison, Cantus also will work with the college's Men's Festival Chorus. Made up of more than 50 tenors and basses from the Denison Chamber Singers, the Denison Concert Choir, the Hilltoppers, and the Denison Gospel Choir, the Festival Chorus will perform this semester at basketball games and concerts, as well as being featured at the Cantus Vail Concert, performing "By and By," a piece commissioned by Cantus member Erick Lichte.
Events featuring Cantus during the pre-concert residency include two 45-minute jam sessions in Slayter Hall (noon on Thursday and 11:30 a.m. on Friday) and an open rehearsal with the Men's Festival Chorus between 4:30 and 6 p.m. in Swasey Chapel.
The Vail Series was founded in 1979, when an extraordinary gift was made to Denison University by Foster and Mary McGaw in memory of Mrs. McGaw's daughter, Jeanne Vail, a 1946 alumna. That bequest became Denison's distinguished Vail Program in the Arts, making possible not only the Vail Series, but also a wide range of artistic presentations, which have greatly expanded opportunities and experiences for students and the larger community. Through the organizing and generous support of Jeanne Vail's brother, the late James D. Vail III, his wife, Margaret, and sons James IV and John, the Vail Program continues to reflect this family's commitment to Denison University and the arts.
The "gong," which will now be calling patrons to their seats at the beginning of the performance, replicates the chime originally designed for this purpose in the 1930s, for The Cleveland Orchestra's Severance Hall, in Cleveland. It was rediscovered during the recent renovation of Severance, and then recorded and stored on a digital playback unit by Rick Galbraith of Carvan Industries, who has generously shared it with Denison for use in Swasey Chapel. The gong activates at ten minutes and five minutes before "curtain" time.
For more information about Cantus, link to http://www.cantusonline.org/
Link to a downloadable high-resolution JPEG media photo of Cantus [ HERE [jpg] ]
CALENDAR LISTING: Denison University, Granville - Denison University's Vail Series continues its 25th season with a performance by Cantus; 8 p.m., Friday (Feb. 11) in Swasey Chapel. A limited number of tickets may be available for the public for $15 each. For ticket availability, call the Vail Hotline at (740) 587-6557.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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