CANTUS AND LIBBY LARSEN AT PENN STATE UNIVERSITY
Friday, Oct 28th, 2016
by: George Trudeau, Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State


On September 25, 2018 the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State presented Cantus in a program entitled "Alone Together" that featured the premiere of a Music Accord commissioned work by Libby Larsen. In this program Cantus explored through the chosen works and with short introductions the challenges of connecting with others in our modern age despite the many new ways we have of communicating. In addition to Larsen's new work, the program covered a broad range of composers from Beethoven to Bernstein; contemporaries Jennifer Higdon, David Lang and Gabriel Kahane; as well as arrangements of music by Simon & Garfunkel, The Beatles, and Dave Matthews.

Larsen's work, entitled "You," received its world premiere performance. It consists of five movements which were sung separately, juxtaposed with the other works on the program. "You" was composed by Larsen to tie into the overall the theme of the program.

It was unusual to take the approach of performing the five movements independently of each other. I thought it worked extremely well. This is in part because the movements build from one to the next in intensity and complexity. They also provided a frame for the overall program, serving as a through line and anchoring thread for the listening experience of the audience. I believe that Libby and the artists of Cantus felt at the end that it was a successful approach. We were all pleased that the work and its brilliant performance by Cantus was well received by our patrons.
The evening before the formal program Cantus participated in our Classical Coffeehouse series. The ensemble gave a one-hour talk/performance program, unpacking the theme of "Alone Together" for students and community members. They were then joined by Libby Larsen to talk about and perform two of the movements of her work.

Libby Larsen was in residence the day of the Cantus performance. She gave a workshop with our composition students, participated in a noon-time interview with our recently retired School of Music Director, and in the afternoon attended a rehearsal of our Philharmonic Orchestra that was preparing one of her works for performance. Libby joined members of Cantus for a post-performance talkback following the formal concert. She is an incredibly engaging person who exhibits great enthusiasm and energy in all her interactions.

We are thrilled to have this new work in the Cantus repertoire and understand it will stay with them for many seasons to come. "You" will be performed nearly 50 times this season and here is a list of the performances:

25-Sep-18 Pennsylvania State University; State College PA
27-Sep-18 Community Church at Tellico Village; Loudon TN
1-Oct-18 Augustana University; Sioux Falls SD
5-Oct-18 University of Kentucky; Lexington KY
12-Oct-18 Brighton Center for the Performing Arts; Brighton MI
14-Oct-18 St. Mark's Episcopal Church; Grand Rapids MI
19-Oct-18 Cantus Home Concerts; Antonello Hall, MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis
21-Oct-18 Cantus Home Concerts; Wayzata Community Church in Wayzata MN
25-Oct-18 Cantus Home Concerts; Colonial Church of Edina MN
26-Oct-18 Cantus Home Concerts; Ordway Concert Hall; St. Paul MN
27-Oct-18 Cantus Home Concerts; Trinity Lutheran Church; Stillwater MN
10-Nov-18 Brown County Civic Music Association; Green Bay WI
11-Nov-18 Wisconsin Union Theater; Madison WI
18-Nov-18 Calgary Pro Musica; Calgary ALB CANADA
19-Nov-18 Calgary Pro Musica; Calgary ALB CANADA
20-Nov-18 Valley Concert Society; Abbotsford BC CANADA
25-Nov-18 Neskowin Chamber Music; Neskowin OR
5-Dec-18 Marshall County Arts Cooperative; Marysville KS
9-Dec-18 Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church; Camp Hill PA
9-Jan-18 Society of the Four Arts Palm Beach FL
25-Jan-18 New Mexico Inst. of Mining & Technology; Socorro NM
26-Jan-18 Corrales Cultural Arts Council; Corrales NM
27-Jan-18 Los Alamos Concert Association; Los Alamos NM
28-Jan-18 Del E. Webb Center/Performing Arts; Wickenburg AZ
1-Feb-18 St. Matthew's Music Guild; Pacific Palisades CA
2-Feb-18 Sheridan College; Sheridan WY
5-Feb-18 University of Nevada/Reno; Reno NV
8-Feb-18 University of California/Berkeley; Berkeley CA
2-Mar-18 Brazosport College; Lake Jackson TX
1-Mar-18 Highland Park Presbyterian Church; Dallas TX
5-Mar-18 Clemson University; Clemson SC
7-Mar-18 St. Mark's Episcopal Church - Palm Beach Gardens Palm Beach Gardens FL
8-Mar-18 Birmingham-Southern College Birmingham AL
2-Apr-18 Adelphi University Garden City NY
3-Apr-18 Celebrity Series of Boston, Inc. Boston MA (Celebrity Series)
5-Apr-18 Hamilton College Clinton NY
12-Apr-18 Chor Leoni Men's Choir Vancouver BC CANADA
23-Apr-18 University of Idaho Moscow ID
26-Apr-18 University of Seattle Seattle WA
27-Apr-18 University of Seattle Seattle WA
1-May-18 Virginia Arts Festival; Norfolk VA
2-May-18 Virginia Arts Festival; Norfolk VA
George Trudeau, Director
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State

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