Members of the vocal ensemble Cantus work with members of the Collegiate Singers Oct. 12. Cantus will perform in 40 cities throughout the U.S. and will tour the Middle East in March. MARIAH HALVERSON | Scroll Photography


Cantus, a nine-man a cappella gro, performed in BYU-Idaho’s Barrus Concert Hall Oct. 12.
Before the performance, Cantus spent some time working with the Men’s Chorus and the Collegiate Singers to help them improve their singing.
“They gave us some really good pointers that we can translate into the music we’re making right now,” said Andy Newman, a member of BYU-I collegiate singers, and a junior studying political science.
Jeff Nielson, a member of collegiate singers and a senior studying math, said he also was helped by the things that Cantus taught them.
“[They taught us] a lot about vowels, structure and how to unify. Everybody has different voices, but they’re able to make it all one,” Nielson said.
Miranda Newman, a junior studying music education, also received some useful tips from Cantus.
“They talked to us a lot about using animation in our faces to tell the story, which I really saw in their performance,” Newman said.
Cantus performed a wide range of songs, from songs dating back to the 13th century to more contemporary songs by the Beatles and Michael Jackson, which were then followed by an encore piece.
“They opened with a Gregorian chant, and just took us through the history of music. People were learning and didn’t even realize it,” said Katie Pace, a senior studying English.
Students really enjoyed the variety of songs that was performed.
“I really liked how they did that rendition of ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ and how they did the different styles throughout the ages,” said Beth Leishman, a senior studying music education. “You don’t usually see one song taken off into different styles.”
Nielson said he also really enjoyed Cantus’s selection of music.
“Oh man, ‘Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald’ was amazing. That bass [singer], his range and what he was able to do with it, and his control. It was out of this world,” Nielson said.
Ashlin Gurr, a freshman studying exercise physiology, said she enjoyed how well Cantus sang together.
“I was really in awe of just how beautiful they sounded together, and how well their voices mixed,” Gurr said. “I had high expectations, and they were definitely met.”
Cantus holds auditions for new members every year.
The gro sends out fliers with audition information to accredited music schools then.
People wanting to audition send in recordings, which Cantus reviews.
Cantus then selects 9 to 12 people to audition in person.