WMU News

Cantus visit includes master classes, concert

Oct. 5, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- Cantus (Men Singing) will perform in the Dalton Center Recital Hall on Thursday, Oct. 11, beginning at 8 p.m. The concert is presented by the Donald P. Bullock Music Performance Institute at Western Michigan University.

General admission tickets are $10. Students and senior citizens will be charged $5. Tickets are available from the Miller Auditorium Ticket Office at 616 387-2300 or toll free at 800 228-9858.

In the fall of 1995 at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., a few friends with a passion for male a capella singing gathered together informally to form a vocal ensemble.

The group's first performances were held throughout the next year in an intimate venue on campus. Audiences quickly became larger and more anticipatory. When the ensemble's spring concert came that same year, the walls of this intimate campus venue were bursting at the seams. Thus launched the career of Cantus.

During the next year concert attendance grew threefold, consisting not only of St. Olaf students but community members from the surrounding Northfield and Minneapolis area. Following a performance for a packed chapel of 1100 music lovers, the ensemble decided to tour. They embarked on an East Coast tour in July 1998 with stops in many major cities. The years since have been filled with changes and opportunities for the ensemble. Cantus has enjoyed performances at state conventions for the American Choral Directors Association in Pennsylvania and Ohio, and at the Newport Music Festival in Rhode Island.

Master classes and workshop

During its Kalamazoo visit, Cantus will also participate in a men's choral festival during the day on Oct. 11. The schedule of events includes rehearsals with WMU's director of choral studies, Dr. Joe Miller; master classes for tenor and bass voices; a workshop with Cantus; and the 8 p.m. concert by Cantus.

The festival is open to all high school male singers, and registration is limited to 175 singers on a first-come, first-accepted basis. Those participating will form a large men's chorus which will sing as part of the evening concert.

The festival is sponsored by WMU's Choral Studies area and the Bullock Music Performance Institute, in collaboration with the Portage (Mich.) Public Schools. For information on the festival, contact Dr. Joe Miller at <joe.miller@wmich.edu>.

Media contact: Kevin West, 616 387-4678, kevin.west@wmich.edu

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