Cantus, called "the premier men's vocal ensemble in the United States" by a Fanfare magazine critic, makes its Penn State debut as part of a three-day residency through Wednesday. The university visit includes concerts at University Park and Altoona campuses, an informal Classical Coffeehouse and various engagement activities with students and others.
The nine-singer group, based in Minneapolis-St. Paul, is known for its warmth, exceptional vocal blend and performances of music from the Renaissance to the 21st century.
The cornerstone of the residency is a performance of A Place for Us at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in University Park's Pasquerilla Spiritual Center. The program seeks to remind us that even in an increasingly complex and diverse country, Americans share a number of values such as the desire for individual freedom, hard work, spirituality, family and a place to call home.
The celebration of national identity includes "The Finlandia Hymn" by Jean Sibelius, a Judith Herrington and Gail Woodside arrangement of the traditional song "Lakota Wiyanki," "Anthem: Lamentation Over Boston" by William Billings, the Appalachian folk snog "Pretty Saro," "Gravedigger" by Dave Matthews, Evy Lucio's arrangement of the traditional Mexican song "El Parajito Cu," "Ain' Got Time to Die" by Hall Johnson, "Simple Gifts" by Joseph Brackett and "Somewhere (There's a Place for Us)" by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim.
General admission tickets—which are $42 for an adult, $12 for a University Park student and $32 for a person 18 and younger—are available for the April 1 concert at Pasquerilla.
Hear a Center for the Performing Arts interview with Cantus tenor Aaron Humble.
As one of the nation's few full-time ensembles, Cantus (con-toose) has grown in prominence with its distinctive approach to creating music. Working without a conductor, the members rehearse and perform as chamber musicians, each contributing to the entirety of the artistic process.
The residency is part of the Center for the Performing Arts Classical Music Project, a three-year effort providing opportunities to engage students, faculty and the community with classical music artists and programs.
Artistic Viewpoints will not be offered before the Cantus concert.
Complimentary round-trip shuttle service is provided on April 1 between the Eisenhower Parking Deck and Pasquerilla. Patrons may board the shuttle in the area between the parking deck and the Eisenhower Auditorium rear loading dock. The first shuttle leaves Eisenhower at 6:05 p.m., followed by others every 20 minutes until 7:05 p.m. After the concert, the shuttle makes as many trips as necessary to return patrons to Eisenhower.
RELATED FREE EVENTS AT UNIVERSITY PARK:
The public is invited to:
• Observe as Penn State choral ensemble Essence of Joy shares its music with Cantus. Anthony Leach, professor of music and Essence of Joy director, leads the 60-minute event at 3:30 p.m. March 31 in the Pasquerilla's Worship Hall.
• Observe as members of Cantus coach the Penn State Glee Club. Christopher Kiver, director of choral activities at Penn State, leads the 80-minute session at 4:40 p.m. March 31 in Pasquerilla's Worship Hall.
• Attend a Classical Coffeehouse at 8 p.m. March 31 in Hintz Family Alumni Center's Robb Hall. The event, featuring an intimate performance by and discussion with Cantus, is presented in partnership with the Blue & White Society and the Penn State Alumni Association. The Penn State Council of LionHearts also provides support. Complimentary refreshments, including coffee and cookies, will be served. Each attendee receives a Classical Coffeehouse mug, while supply lasts.
RELATED FREE EVENTS AT PENN STATE ALTOONA:
Go to Altoona for information about the vocal group's activities scheduled for Wednesday.