(Posted October 10, 2005)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Seamless ensemble singing in styles ranging from Renaissance to pop tunes will be the order of the day as Cantus, one of the country's premier male vocal ensembles, performs at Juniata College at 8:15 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 15 in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts on the Juniata campus.

For tickets and information about the Juniata College Artist Series, please call (814) 641-3605. General admission tickets for single performances are $20, except where otherwise noted. Single-show tickets for seniors over age 65 and children age 18 and under are $12. Juniata College students are admitted free with a student ID.

Cantus' performance will culminate an evening of celebration as Juniata's Uncommon Outcomes campaign ends. Members of the community are invited for a free reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the campus quadrangle, followed by a fireworks display at 7:30 p.m. on the quadrangle.

Cantus is a nine-person vocal ensemble who are equally versed in singing Gregorian chants, Renaissance motets, sacred music, world music, spirituals and pop songs. The group was formed in 1995, as a few college friends gathered for a sing-along on the campus of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn.

Cantus has recorded six CDs on its own label, Cantus Recordings. Their most recent releases, "Let Your Voice Be Heard" and "â?¦against the dying of the light," received superlative reviews from American Record Guide. Their current album, "Deep River," is a collection of African-American spirituals.

Cantus is a resident artist ensemble at St. John's University in Collegeville, Minn. They tour throughout the country each year. In 2003, their work was acclaimed at the Polyfolia Festival in Normandy, France.

"The Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote, "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."

The group's personnel are: Shahzare Shah, Tim Takach, Adam Reinwald, Tom McNichols, Gary Ruschman, Albert Jordan, Peter Zvanovec, Aaron Humble and Dashon Burton.

The group performs in the bel canto tradition, which means "beautiful singing" in Italian, and focuses on light, bright vocals. Cantus modeled their approach to vocalization on the seamless interplay of string ensembles. "It's overwhelming, the aural equivalent of heaven," wrote a reviewer for onhifi.com

The group sings a variety of material, and have commissioned several new works recently, including "Two Laments on Dylan Thomas," "Songs from Mantengo Folk Tales" and "A True Heart is Waiting."

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.