Cantamus proud of performances at ACDA National Convention

Cantamus performs at one of the venues in Minneapolis.

Alison Soelberg

Iowa State University’s all-women choir, Cantamus, left March 8 for Minneapolis to attend the ACDA National Convention. The group went on to perform twice March 10.

The invitation to the convention was an honor for the choir. They were the only all-women’s choir in attendance and were among roughly 30 other choirs invited to the event.

For every member of Cantamus, attending the conference was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. They have been perfecting their performance for almost one year, and to perform at this caliber, is a true milestone for them as they represent Cantamus and Iowa State University.

When they got to Minneapolis, they met with two other choirs from Mt. San Antonio College from California and sang through their performances for one another.

Cantamus did not just attend the conference to perform, though. They attended it to learn.

“We were able to see professional choirs as well as international youth choirs that were absolutely astounding,” said Bethany Darr, sophomore at Iowa State and member of Cantamus.

The group got to meet the composers for two of the songs it performed. Famous composers from around the world attended the event ,including Eric Whitacre, a Grammy-winning American composer whom the women of Cantamus got to watch as he led his choir in a breathtaking performance.

“For me especially, that was probably one of the biggest highlights, seeing Eric Whitacre’s choir,” said Rachel Zimmerman, senior at Iowa State and member of Cantamus.

Every person in attendance had a passion and appreciation for music. They were all able to share this during each choir’s performance.

“I think that what stood out to me the most was that we performed for an audience that understood how much hard work our performance takes,” Darr said. “They were so responsive and enthusiastic to our show.”

The group went on to perform at Orchestra Hall and Central Lutheran church in Minneapolis on Friday for several hundred attendees, receiving standing ovations.

“I think the greatest experience was that feeling of how hard we worked, and getting to perform all of our pieces,” Zimmerman said. “The audience, well everyone, had an appreciation for what we do because everyone really had that understanding of what it takes to make music with other people and perfecting it with all the rehearsals for the music.”

Cantamus will not have any more performances for the rest of this school year.

“For me as a senior, it was a really great way to end the year on a high note,” Zimmerman said.

Auditions for Cantamus took place annually in August. Women who are interested in joining the group can go to their website for more information.