The COVID-19 Sessions / Cantus Vocal Ensemble
In August 2020, Signum Classics began releasing Cantus’ COVID-19 Sessions. Recorded on March 17, 19, and 20 at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the COVID-19 Sessions came together quickly as society began to shut down amidst the growing outbreak in the United States. The artists recorded these 19 tracks thanks to the expertise of members Chris Foss (audio) and Jacob Christopher (video). The COVID-19 Sessions were first released on YouTube and Facebook in the spring of 2020 and racked up millions of views, prompting Signum to release the tracks internationally on digital music providers like Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, and Amazon Digital in higher-than-CD-quality audio. The artists write: “The inspiration for this project came during the week of March 8, when word began spreading of the coronavirus’ presence in the United States. As gatherings became limited, it quickly became clear that we needed to postpone our spring program... As we made those hard decisions at home, our national touring schedule was simultaneously unravelling. Presenters faced the same looming challenges and concerns as we did, and they also began to postpone or cancel all of their upcoming programs. We soon found ourselves with our earned revenue sources, which comprise two-thirds of our budget, cut off. Amidst these concerns, a more fundamental uncertainty grew with the guidelines on social distancing and the prohibitions on large gatherings. How can we, how can you, how can anyone create a sense of community during a crisis like this? We recognized we had a limited window in which to offer what we could as artists. These recordings are the result of that action — we wanted to come together in a time of great stress and uncertainty and offer what we could to the world, our community, and each other.”
Includes music by Jean Sibelius, Mari Esabel Valverde, Hildegard von Bingen, Melissa Dunphy, Eric Whitacre, Billy Joel, and more.
Release Date: March 11, 2022
Catalog Number: SIGCD819
Label: Signum Classics