Grass Valley, CA:  All music has the ability to evoke emotions, but there is something essentially exquisite about the oldest and most complex instrument, the human voice.  InConcert Sierra presents Cantus, an eight-member, male vocal ensemble in a wondrous performance on Sunday afternoon, October 16 at 2pm.

Drawing its title from Walt Whitman’s inspirational poem, “Song of the Universal,” Cantus’ program explores how people across time and geography experience the divine. Touching on traditions across cultures, the program ranges from chant by Hildegard von Bingen to A.R. Rahman’s pulsating “Zikr.” American composer Joan Szymko’s spirited “Ffe Mwe, Mwe Ffe” celebrates how some encounter the divine through building community, while Paul John Rudoi’s “Song of Sky and Sea” reflects how others do so through nature.

“There’s a deep joy I experience when I hear a perfectly tuned chord ringing out into a concert hall, all the individual voices blended into a singular expressive instrument,” says Rod Kelly Hines, Cantus baritone.

Now in its 28th season, Cantus is one of only two male, professional, full-time singing groups in the United States.  The second ensemble is the San Francisco based “Chanticleer,” which performed for InConcert Sierra this past March to a sold-out audience. Cantus began as a student-run organization at Minnesota’s St. Olaf’s College in 1995.

Masters of repertoire spanning music of the Renaissance to the 21st century, the low-voiced (tenor, baritone, bass) ensemble is known for its trademark warmth and blend, engaging thematic programming and riveting performances. Working without a conductor, the members of Cantus rehearse and perform as chamber musicians, each contributing to the entirety of the artistic process, creating programs that give voice to shared human experiences.

“Cantus is unlike any other vocal group you will see or hear. Every program we stage and each piece of music we perform has eight artists’ fingerprints on it. The artistic product of Cantus is collaborative in every sense,” said Samuel Green, Cantus bass.

This concert was originally scheduled for April 2020, but had to be postponed due to the pandemic shutdown.  “We’re so pleased to have Cantus at last!” said Ken Hardin, ICS Artistic Director.  “I’m equally delighted that we are resuming our pre-concert forums, when I interview the artists about themselves and their music. The forum is noted by many as a favorite part of the ICS concert day.”  The 1:15pm pre-concert forum is free with admission.

InConcert Sierra is a Nevada County non-profit organization that presents high-caliber classical music performances and robust music education offerings for all ages.  Founded in 1946, ICS is celebrating 76 years as an integral part of Nevada County’s arts community. For more information, call 530-273-3990 or please visit www.inconcertsierra.org.

What: InConcert Sierra presents Cantus

When: Sunday, Oct 16, 2022 at 2pm. 1:15pm pre-concert forum

Where: Seventh-day Adventist Church, 12889 Osborne Hill Road, Grass Valley

Tickets: $48 general available online at inconcertsierra.org or call 530-273-3990. Youth (5-17) free with adult