Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State

Event Slides Per Node 1415

  • The eight members of Cantus stand together wearing casual suit jackets while smiling for the camera.

One Giant Leap

7:30 pm Wednesday, March 31, 2021

History is filled with stories of daring innovators who had the audacity to dream of one day conquering the sky. The moon, the stars, and the tapestry of the night sky are all responsible for some of humanity’s oldest legends and mysteries. In One Giant Leap, Cantus celebrates the allure of outward exploration, the triumph of the human spirit, and the striving for excellence through innovation and technology. 

Cantus looked to the night sky to shape One Giant Leap, which the acclaimed men’s chorus toured in 2019–20 in conjunction with the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission put two men on the moon. But One Giant Leap looks beyond that triumph to consider elements of why we sought to go to the moon: humankind’s capacity for wonder, our innate desire to discover, and, in doing so, to better understand our own place in the universe. 

Throughout the thoughtful and dynamic program, Cantus seeks to celebrate the siren song of the sky, as well as the larger and lasting themes of bravery, innovation, and shared accomplishment that led to “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” 

This recording of the program’s highlights includes:

Stars by Ériks Ešenvalds
“La Route” from Dans la Montagne by Jean Cras 
Flucht by Franz Schubert 
Follow the Drinking Gourd, a traditional work arranged by Vicente Chavarria 
Starry Messenger by Z. Randall Stroope
Discoveries by Grace Brigham
Silver Deity of Secret Night by Catherine Dalton
Beyond by Chris Foss

Download program notes.

A critic for Fanfare calls Cantus “the premier men’s vocal ensemble in the United States.” The chorus is known for its trademark warmth, exceptional vocal blend, and engaging performances of music from the Renaissance to the twenty-first century. A Washington Post reviewer hails the ensemble’s sound as having both “exalting finesse” and “expressive power,” and describes its singing as “spontaneous grace.” 

The Center for the Performing Arts has presented the Minneapolis-based ensemble twice at Penn State’s Pasquerilla Spiritual Center. In 2014, the chorus performed A Place for Us. In 2018, the ensemble offered Alone Together, which featured the world premiere of You by Libby Larsen.

Watch the event beginning at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 31. It will be available for streaming until 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 7. 

The Center for the Performing Arts debut of the recorded performance, at 7:30 p.m. March 31, will be followed by a live conversation among Amy Dupain Vashaw, the center’s audience and program development director, and Cantus singers Jacob Christopher, Alberto de la Paz, Chris Foss, Samuel Green, Alex Nishibun, and Paul Scholtz.


The program run time is approximately 43 minutes. The post-performance discussion, which follows the March 31 debut only, will last about 15 minutes.

2020–2021 Up Close and Virtual season sponsors


Contributions from the members of the Center for the Performing Arts and a grant from the University Park Student Fee Board help make this program free of charge.

Help us continue to provide free streaming programs with a donation of $5 or more. Or join as a member starting at $60 and receive benefits.


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