Cantus began as an all-male student singing group at St. Olaf College in St. Paul, Minn., in 1996. It became a professional group in 2000.
Now celebrating its 11th anniversary, Aaron Humble is one of three members of the artistic council which makes decisions for the nine-member group. One takes care of programming, another the rehearsals and the third, Humble, takes care of communications.
Humble has been part of Cantus since 2005.
As men leave the group, audition notices are sent around the country to accredited music schools.
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Humble, who went to Milliken University in Decatur, Ill., was in graduate school, getting ready to get his diploma when he saw the notice.
“I thought it was something worth looking into,” he said. “I enjoyed my audition experience and liked it.”
Humble was accepted into the group.
“I felt fortunate,” he said. “I have a full-time job with a salary and benefits.”
The group has no conductor. They look to each other to start every song and have to listen to each other carefully.
Humble manages the tour and does the public relations work.
“With some turnover, they needed someone to take on the role of tour manager.”
As tour manager, he has to make sure everyone gets on the vans on time. Once, a singer was left behind.
“People handle themselves rather well,” Humble said. “That was just an accident. We didn’t get very far when we discovered he was left behind. That might be the quirkiest thing that happened on tour.”
While Cantus does do some international travel, most of the tours have been in the U.S.
The group has a management company that books their tours. Since the singers live in the frozen North, they like to tour the South in the winter.
The group members range in age from 24-36.
Even after four years, it’s still fun touring to 50-60 cities every year, he said.
“We have grown and evolved over the years,” he said. “Stylistically, we have grown.”
The group has released nine CDs and has studio time planned for the summer.