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Cantus – Biography

November 3rd, 2018

Season Listing | Biography | Program

The “engaging” (New Yorker) men’s vocal ensemble Cantus is widely known for its trademark warmth and blend, innovative programming and engaging performances of music ranging from the Renaissance to the 21st century. The Washington Post has hailed the Cantus sound as having both “exalting finesse” and “expressive power” and refers to the “spontaneous grace” of its music making. The Philadelphia Inquirer called the group nothing short of “exquisite.”

As one of the nation’s few full-time vocal ensembles, Cantus has grown in prominence with its distinctive approach to creating music. Cantus performs more than 60 concerts each year both in national and international touring, and in its home of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. Cantus has performed at Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, UCLA, San Francisco Performances, Atlanta’s Spivey Hall, and Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival.

In their 2018-19 touring program Alone Together, Cantus explores what it means to connect in a modern world where our ability to communicate has never been easier or more advanced, but where the rifts between nations, among communities, and in individual relationships only seem to widen. The program is anchored by three works written for Cantus by Steven Sametz, David Lang and a new, multi-movement work by Libby Larsen, commissioned by Music Accord and written specifically around themes of technology and connection in our modern world. The program – also weaving in music by Jennifer Higdon, Laura Mvula, McCartney and Lennon, Saint-Saëns, Beethoven, Dave Matthews, Arcade Fire, and Sydney Guillaume – will be presented in 36 cities and 21 states and provinces.

Cantus is the recipient of three prestigious Chorus America awards, including the 2016 Dale Warland Singers Commission Award (Presented in partnership with the American Composers Forum), the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence and the Education Outreach Award. Cantus was also Artist in Residence on Minnesota Public Radio and on American Public Media’s Performance Today.

Integral to the Cantus mission is its commitment to preserve and deepen music education in the schools. Cantus works with more than 5,000 students each year in master class and workshop settings across the country. Now in its eleventh year, the award-winning High School Residency program brings Cantus into Minnesota schools several times a year for mentoring and a culminating public concert in the spring.

Cantus is an artist-led ensemble, so the process that is used for preparing and rehearsing music is a unique one. A complete democracy in the rehearsal room would be an inefficient use of time, so each piece performed is assigned to one of the singers to produce. This producer is responsible for initial interpretation, leading the allotted rehearsal time, and quality control on the fundamentals (notes, rhythms, tuning, vowel choice, etc.). Once these basics are established, the producer also facilitates discussion of interpretation and execution from the entire group. This collaborative work style allows Cantus to be more flexible, adaptive and ready to embrace new ideas. The performance that you enjoy – whether in a recording or in a live concert – is one that would be entirely impossible without the artistic involvement of the entire ensemble.

Cantus – Program

November 3rd, 2018

Season Listing | Biography | Program

Cantus presents Alone Together
Saturday, November 10, 2018

She, Laura Mvula

She’s Leaving Home, John Lennon & Paul McCartney

You*, Libby Larsen

  1. You, here…now

Twitter Song, Ingrid Michaelson

Deep Blue, Arcade Fire

You*, Libby Larsen

  1. You, now…know

Calme Des Nuits (Stillness of the Night), Camille Saint-Saëns

A Most Peculiar Man, Paul Simon & Art Garfunkel

You*, Libby Larsen

  1. You, know…are, who

Gesang der Mönche (Monks’ Song), Ludwig van Beethoven

Gravedigger, Dave Matthews

You Will Be Found, Benj Pasek & Justin Paul




Gagòt, Sydney Guillaume

A Quiet Moment, Jennifer Higdon

Manifesto, David Lang

You*, Libby Larsen

  1. You, here…need

When the Earth Stands Still, Don McDonald

You*, Libby Larsen

  1. You, here…know, love

We Two, Steven Sametz

  1. Earth, My Likeness
  2. I Am He That Aches With Amorous Love
  3. Here the Frailest Leaves of Me
  4. Not Heat Flames Up and Consumes
  5. We Two, How Long We Were Fool’d

*This piece will premiere in its entirety on September 25, 2018

Pianist Lan signs on for MSO concert

September 30th, 2018

Catherine LanCivic Music has announced that internationally known pianist Catherine Lan will be the featured artist when the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra returns to Green Bay on Saturday, May 11, 2019. Lan and the MSO have settled on the showy and always crowd-pleasing Saint Saens Piano Concerto No. 2 (Opus 22) as the centerpiece of our closing concert of 2018-19. Now based in Florida, Lan made her international debut at age 8 and has performed and won competitions in Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Slovenia, Croatia, France, and the USA.

Artstreet drawing winners

September 30th, 2018

Brown County Civic Music Association had a booth Artstreet again this year. Les Heckman and his volunteers did a fabulous job. Visitors to the Civic Music booth were invited to enter a drawing for two tickets to the concert of their choice. Our ten winners are listed here. If you see them at a concert this season be sure to say hello and invite them to become members next season.

The following ten people won:

  1. Randy Westberg, Green Bay, WI
  2. Michelle Sprerl, Green Bay, WI
  3. Althea Rosenberg, De Pere, WI
  4. Dakota Alvarado-Ortiz, De Pere, WI
  5. Kristen Hubbell, Green Bay, WI
  6. Donna Biebel, Green Bay, WI
  7. Collin Hess, Green Bay, WI
  8. Ebony Harvey, Green Bay, WI
  9. Melody Wuest, Sheboygan, WI
  10. Tomas Dominguez, Green Bay, WI

Bonus concerts in Marinette-Menominee

September 30th, 2018

A bonus of your Civic Music membership is reciprocity with our sister organization in Marinette-Menominee. That means your membership is actually good for six concerts – our five PLUS one of the four offered by River Cities Concerts. Their series offers DSQ Electric, Nov. 5; Leon Williams Sings Noel, Nov. 29; Boston Brass, April 5; and the Jersey Tenors, May 6. Contact the Civic Music Office to reserve a spot on the pass list. Visit RCConcerts.com for concert information.

Raúl Prieto Ramírez – Biography

September 30th, 2018

Season Listing | Biography | Program

Raúl Prieto Ramírez, Concert Organist
San Diego Civic Organist and
Artistic Director of the Spreckels Organ Society

With words such as “sizzling”, iconoclastic”, “impeccable”, and “transcendent” used to describe his performances, Raúl Prieto Ramírez is the first Spanish organist in recent times to establish himself among the elite of the international pipe organ scene. The powerful personality, passionate expressiveness, gift for communication, and outstanding technique of Spanish organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez make him shine in a wide range of repertoire and styles”. (Los Angeles Philharmonic)

In December 2017, Raúl Prieto Ramírez was appointed the San Diego Civic Organist and Artistic Director of the Spreckels Organ Society, where he will preside over the famed Austin organ at the city’s Balboa Park Pavilion – the largest outdoor pipe organ in the Western Hemisphere. Mr. Ramírez is the eighth Civic Organist to serve San Diego on the Spreckels organ bench.

Mr. Ramírez was appointed at age 27 as the first Organist-in-Residence of the Auditorio Nacional de Música in Madrid—Spain’s National Concert Hall, a position that had never existed until his appointment. Within the first six months of his tenure there, he increased attendance at the hall’s organ recitals by a multiple of 30, and critics hailed him as one of the most exciting talents in the music scene in Spain. His global schedule takes him to major festivals and concert halls (from the Mariinsky Theater and Moscow House of Music in Russia to organ churches and cathedrals through Europe and the US), performances and lectures for universities and institutions (such as Indiana University, Moscow Conservatory, Graz University, and Chapters of the American Guild of Organists), collaborations in summer academies, and as jury member at international competitions.

After studies in Spain where he received the highest distinctions and awards, Mr. Ramírez moved to Stuttgart on a scholarship from the German government to study organ performance with Ludger Lohmann. At the same time, he was developing his technique with pianist Leonid Sintsev at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg, Russia. He also worked on interpretation of the different schools of organ literature with Marie-Claire Alain, Guy Bovet, Eric Lebrun, Lionel Rogg, Zsigmond Szathmáry, and Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini, and he also intensively studied composition, orchestral conducting, improvisation, and continuo playing. The premieres of his works have been recorded and broadcast in Spain, including chamber music, organ music, many pieces for solo instruments and a concerto for organ and orchestra that was premiered in Barcelona.

As a result of his varied studies, Mr. Prieto Ramírez possesses a wide and deep knowledge of organ repertoire, styles, and schools, from the 14th century Robertsbridge Codex to the new compositions he commissions. He is respected as a specialist in such disparate subjects as Spanish music, historic keyboard techniques, and modern symphonic transcriptions for the organ. His transcriptions of Liszt’s piano études and Mephisto Waltz have been praised by audience and critics alike in Italy, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Critics have also highly praised his interpretations of the music of Buxtehude, Bach, Franck, and Reger.

From 2013-2017, Mr. Ramírez was organist-in-residence at Sursa Concert Hall and served on the organ faculty at Ball State University, Indiana. He continues as the Artistic Director and Founder of the Barcelona Summer Organ Festival and Academy. Mr. Ramírez has been widely recorded and interviewed for radio and television in several European countries and in the US. His first two compact discs, on the Brilliant Classics label, were recorded at Milan Cathedral in Italy (music of Franck, Liszt, Reger, and Saint-Saëns) and at the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona (music for piano and organ duet). In June 2016, Mr. Ramirez and his wife, Spanish pianist Maria Teresa Sierra, were featured duo artists at the American Guild of Organists’ national convention in Houston.

Raúl Prieto Ramírez is represented exclusively in North America by Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists, LLC.

Raúl Prieto Ramírez – Program

September 30th, 2018

Raúl Prieto Ramírez, Concert Organist
Weidener Center for the Performing Arts, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Friday, October 12, 2018 at 7:30pm


Prelude and Fugue in G major, BWV 541
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Allegro (from Symphony VI in g minor Op. 42 No. 2)
Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937)

Rhapsodie Op. 7 No. 1
Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)

Mephisto Waltz No. 1 ‘Der Tanz in der Dorfschenke’
(‘The Dance in the Village Inn’) S. 514
Franz Liszt (1811 – 1886)
(arr. Raúl Prieto Ramírez)




Fantasia and Fugue on the chorale “Ad nos, ad salutarem undam”
259 (from Meyerbeer´s opera ‘Le Prophète’)
Franz Liszt (1811 – 1886)


Audio or video recording of this recital, using any device, without prior written consent is strictly prohibited.




Raúl Prieto Ramírez is represented in North America exclusively by Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists, LLC


E-mail:  email@concertartists.com       Phone: 860-560-7800

PO Box 6507, Detroit, MI 48206-6507

Annual Meeting – June 25

June 3rd, 2018

If you’re a ticket-buying subscriber to the Brown County Civic Music series, you’re eligible to attend our annual membership meeting to voice your opinion and share suggestions. Please join us at 7 p.m. Monday, June 25, 2018 at the First United Presbyterian Church, 605 N. Webster Avenue, De Pere.

Two guest artists have Civic Music roots

June 3rd, 2018

The Five artists from Milwaukee’s Florentine Opera will be joined by two young performers with local ties, Emily (Brand) Oehrtman and Anna Parks. Both the Brand and Parks families are well-known in area music circles – and longtime Civic Music members, to boot.  The brief set by the Green Bay area singers highlights the local excellence of vocal music education, and this community’s track record of sending forth opera performers and educators.

Classic pop standards, too

June 3rd, 2018

In keeping with their typical summer format, the Florentine Opera pros will offer music lovers a split program with opera at the outset and Great American Songbook repertoire coming post-intermission. Early opera selections will include famous melodies from La Boheme, The Barber of Seville and Romeo and Juliet. The second half features standards including Come Fly with Me, Don’t Get Around Much Anymore, Til We Meet Again, and more. For a more complete performance outline, see the program.