I’m a parent, what’s going on?

We create a parent manual and distribute a printed copy at our annual parent orientation meeting held each September. You can download a digital version here.

Due to COVID-19, parents should refer to the Cantus website in lieu of a hard copy parent manual.

What about outfits?

Each member of Cantus Youth Choirs will need to purchase a “Concert Blacks” outfit. This outfit is worn by members of the Chorale, Concert Choir, Virtuoso Singers, and Concordia ensembles.

Ladies’ Outfit
Black gown + Jewelry set
  • Ladies will provide their own black nylons and black dress shoes (no heels, no sparkles, no buckles).
Gentlemen’s Outfit
Black vest + Black necktie
  • Gentlemen will provide their own white dress shirt, black slacks, socks, and dress shoes.

It is very important that these Concert Black outfits are worn in a uniform manner. Please note page 11 from the Cantus Parent Guide.

This short (and entertaining video) can show you what you need to do to be prepared for the concert:

Members in our contemporary groups (Fortis, Bella Visi and VoiceOver) pay a rental fee for an additional outfit that they wear while performing with their group. Members of Rhapsody wear their Concert Black outfit.

How much does Cantus cost?

We have a tiered tuition schedule. Younger singers pay less. This allows parents and singers a chance to “try Cantus out” and see if it’s a good fit. Click here to see our tuition structure.

In addition to tuition, there are a number of fees with participating in Cantus Youth Choirs: concert apparel, concert tickets, extra ensemble fees (optional), and tour (optional). As funds allows, Cantus may be able to provide financial aid to qualifying families.

How do I join Cantus?

Cantus is for singers ages 8 to 18 years old (3rd to 12th grade). To join Cantus, all you need to do is audition and register online. You can join without submitting an audition first. To register, visit our JOIN page and add the ensembles your singer(s) qualify for to your shopping cart.

How do I audition?

Remember, EVERYONE gets into Cantus Youth Choirs traditional ensembles: Concordia, Virtuoso Singers, Concert Choir or Chorale.

All singers in 8th grade or older need to submit a video audition. This process is very easy.

We hold live auditions in April/May for next season’s contemporary ensembles. Due to the limited number of spots in these groups, some singers will not be invited to participate in these ensembles.

What is expected of parents?
  • I am expected to pay all tuition and fees on time.
  • I am expected to purchase a performance outfit for my singer.
  • I am expected to be involved and encourage my singer to do their home practice.
  • I am expected to have an email account and check my email weekly and read emails sent by Cantus.
  • I understand that my singer and I are expected to remain active for the entire season, and that should we resign, all fees are non-refundable and that we are responsible for all balances.
What is expected of singers?
  • I will attend all rehearsals, retreats, dress rehearsals and performances. I understand that I can miss 3 rehearsals per semester. I understand that there may be special attendance policies based on Covid-19.
  • I will do my home practice, as assigned.
  • I will care for the materials issued to me and pay any fees for lost or excessively damaged materials.
  • For older youth: with my parent/guardian’s consent, I will also subscribe to Cantus emails and read them.
Can I go on tour?

All Cantus singers are invited to tour, but none are required. Tour costs are separate from your tuition, and the price for tour is published in the fall of tour years. Cantus parents spearhead fundraisers from time to time, and information about those opportunities will be sent to everyone. You will also want to make sure that you meet the attendance and behavior requirements and successfully complete all assignments given by your choir director.

What will tour be like?

Amazing. You will get to travel with some of your best friends. You will sing in beautiful venues and hear outstanding choirs from across the country. Tour is a wonderful time for making music … we also have a lot of fun along the way, like theme parks and concerts.

Is there any financial aid?

Part of the mission statement of Cantus Youth Choirs is to “enrich the lives of youth from all economic backgrounds.” We partner with individuals and businesses in the community to provide sponsorships. Costs are kept as low as possible. We offer a payment plan for tuition where payments can be broken up into six affordable installments, and discounts are available for siblings.

Can I do other activities AND Cantus?

Definitely. We encourage you to be as well-rounded as possible. It just takes good planning and open communication between you, the choir director and your coaches or other activity directors. If you have an ongoing conflict, please notify us.

What if I don’t know anyone in Cantus?

Cantus is a great way to meet new people and make new friends. In fact, many youth say that they met their best friends in Cantus!

Another way to have friends in the choir is to invite your friends to audition with you! You will share amazing musical and social experiences together, including performing for prestigious events throughout the community! Don’t worry, though. You will develop friendships within the choir that will last a lifetime.

Don’t believe us? Read about others’ experiences.

Why should I sing when young?

All singers, male and female, go through what experts call the “adolescent voice change.” The way that you choose to sing during this voice change can affect the way you sing for the rest of your life.

The best method to protect, develop and expand your voice is to sing early, often and with close guidance by an expert. By the time you get to high school, you will have a background in the skills you need for a lifetime healthy singing.

Why do I need to practice at home?

We expect the best of the singers in Cantus Youth Choirs. In order for the choirs to perform music that is challenging and engaging, we need every moment of limited rehearsal time to refine the music.

We only have one night a week to rehearse, which means that singers need to learn and memorize the music at home. To help, we often provide practice recordings. If your singer needs additional assistance, please contact his/her ensemble director.