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Versatile voices

It will begin with an arrangement of Gregorian Plainchant that will, naturally enough, lead into Thomas Tallis' "Lamentations of Jeremiah."Wait, though.

By the time it's over, Wednesday's concert by the much-recorded male choral ensemble Cantus is scheduled to include: a piece of contemporary British choral composer Bob Chilcott called "Five Ways to Kill a Man"; Bobby McFerrin's setting of the 23rd Psalm; a choral piece by Finnish jazz saxophonist Seppo Paakkunainen (there's nothing like a Finnish composer to make you recheck the number of n's and a's); some Appalachian folk tunes; African-American spirituals; Indian ragas; and Japanese folks songs. Not to mention, yes, Curtis Mayfield's "It's All Right."

The group from the Minneapolis/St. Paul area is nothing if not representative of post-modern concertizing. Which is to say, they're happy to go off in as many directions as possible in one night for the greater glory of male chorale singing. (They hold summer camp clinics in the choral singer's art in Excelsior, Minn. -- clearly they're not kidding.)

At one performance in Washington, D.C., a work by Estonian composer Veljo Tormis was followed with songs by Gordon Lightfoot and Sting.

And with all that going on, there will still be a part of the group's program on Wednesday billed as a surprise. And no doubt it will be that, at the very least. Their appearance will take place at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 1080 Main St., as part of this season's Ramsi P. Tick Concert Series.

-- Jeff Simon

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