Stay on the wagon, at Camp Winema

The Neskowin Chamber Music series will continue on a sober note this Sunday, Nov. 25, with a performance of carols originally designed to keep men out of pubs on Christmas Day.

The Cantus octet will fill the stage of the chapel at Camp Winema as they perform “Lessons and Carols for Our Time,” a collection written in the 1880s by the soon-to-be Archbishop of Canterbury, Edward White Benson, to inspire pious behavior in the holiday season.

“The message of Christmas is one of shared humanity,” said Cantus tenor Paul Scholtz. “There are nine readings in total on a range of themes.”

Cantus updates the format by using poetry for the lessons that will speak to modern audiences and songs that reflect a range of context and cultures.

“A large part of our tradition of singing in the Midwest comes from the church,” Scholtz added, “and the Christmas holiday is undoubtedly the celebration most closely associated with singing.”

Cantus performs more than 70 concerts each year, both in the US and abroad. The group has appeared with the St. Paul Chamber orchestra, the Boston Pops, James Sewell Ballet and the Minnesota Orchestra. Cantus has released 15 albums on its own label.

Along with their full concert schedule, members of Cantus find time to work with more than 5,000 students each year in masterclass and workshop settings as well as conducting a residency program at the University of Minnesota School of Music.

Alongside Scholtz, Cantus features tenors Jacob Christopher, Zachary Colby and Adam Fieldson; baritones David Geist and Matthew Goinz; and bass Chris Foss and Samuel Green.

Sunday’s concert will start at 3 pm in the chapel at Camp Winema, located three miles north of Neskowin, just off Highway 101. Tickets, $25, are available at the door.

For more information, call 503-965-6499 or go to www.neskowinchambermusic.org.

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