Share Your Cantata Memory!

At this landmark in our history, we would love to hear your special memories of Cantata through the years.  From funny anecdotes to sublime musical moments, we want to know what makes Cantata special to you?  Please submit your story below!

Your memories will help to fill in forgotten moments of our history as we work to improve our archives, giving our newest members more continuity with the past.  Stories may also be featured at our 50th Season Celebration.  We also hope that this will also serve as a virtual way for our friends abroad to join us in honoring our anniversary.  If you have photographs, recordings, or other materials you wish to contribute, please contact Business Manager Ashley Prescott at (313) 242-7282 or  We can digitally scan or copy these materials with care, and return the originals to you.

Whatever your connection to Cantata – a long-time singer, a host family for one of our tours, or a recent audience member – we’d love for you to share your experiences here.

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9 Responses to Share Your Cantata Memory!

  1. Lisa M. Smith says:

    I greatly enjoyed the EuroTours with Cantata in 1997, 2001 and 2003. The homestays were the best, including in Kreuzwertheim, Germany, Andorf, Austria, Tamsweg, Austria and Lodz, Poland. These tours really helped us bond as an ensemble (both musically and in friendship), opened up new horizons and perspectives, and built new friendships with host families.

    Singing at the Prince’s wine festival at the castle in Germany was pretty cool (July 1997). Visiting the Island of Hvar (and singing at the monastery there) was really amazing (Croatia 2003). There are so many memorable episodes and wonderful visits, including those to Dresden, Germany in 1997, Warsaw, Poland in 1997 (including singing on Polish tv; those dorms we stayed in), that incident on the Estonia/Russia border with Jane Ganon in 1997 (what was it the Russian border guard asked – “Who is zee Commander?”), visiting Peterhof (Peter the Great’s summer palace outside St. Petersburg, Russia in 1997), the Hermitage Museum, Venice, Italy in 2001, Bled, Slovenia in 2001 on 4th of July, performing at the cool castle in the Czech Republic in 2001 (Jind?ich?v Hradec), the Lisa/Deanna ghost episode in ?eské Bud?jovice in the Czech Republic in 2001, and how wonderful the people of Croatia were to us in 2003 (and how much “Peace I Leave With You” meant to them after their own war had recently ended). How about hiking in Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia in 2003 – weren’t the waterfalls wonderful? Oh and Rome in 2001 and 2003; San Marino in 2003, etc. It was such a privilege to travel with this group of talented individuals and share our music (and a few glasses of local beverages) across Europe. I remember meeting Vlado at the concert in Zagreb, Croatia in 2003 and how cool it was to be asked to autograph our cd! Music knows no borders! Thank you Cantata Academy Chorale and Happy 50th!

    • Jane Gannon Euro tours 1997, 1999, 2001 says:

      Making my memories here…

      I remember so many of those Euro tours myself and Oh, how I remember the border incident. I also remember Tim trying to be the commander and translate in Russian with the border people. I was so embarassed that I was holding up the whole choir over my name on my passport. I also remember your ghost story in the Czech Republic & how I couldn’t sleep that night thinking about how a ghost might come in my room.

      The most memorable has got to be Kreuzwertheim, Germany and the home stays and the family which we call our Germany family (Ralf, Andrea, Elena & Soren Kintzel). They’ve been here to visit us and we keep in touch with them. The concerts there are always great and dinner following, as well as the wine festivals.

      Don’t think you were on this trip, but we went to O’dette, Denmark in ’99 and had a scheduled concert in a park-type atmoshpere. Fred said eventhough there wasn’t anybody sitting in the seats, the show must go on. There were however, several free-sprit types hanging out and getting very high on something…and making comments on our lovely music (sarcastic). Was a very interesting concert. We sang all the way through. I remember having a solo in one of the songs. Embarrassing! I think that trip was, planes, trains & cruise ships.

      So many memories, so many places, so many faces, so many songs. I miss Frederick! Happy 50th!
      Jane Gannon

  2. Ashley Prescott says:

    I’m relatively new (just over 2 years singing with Cantata now) but have jumped in with both feet! My favorite performance so far has been Beethoven’s Ninth with the Detroit Civic Orchestra last spring – hard to beat singing in Orchestra Hall! My best-loved new pieces of repertoire were Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna, Eric Whitacre’s Hebrew Love Songs, and Handel’s Utrecht Te Deum, which has a really lovely alto part that I would love one day to sing. Most of all I’ve enjoyed meeting new people through Cantata, and working with our very dedicated Board to keep this great group up and running!

  3. Emilie Rohrbach says:

    My second season with Cantata Academy Chorale began in September of 2002. I didn’t know it then, but Cantata would change my life! Several new male singers joined the group around that time – Mike Gilfillin, Carl Zookowski, Matt Cihlar and Dale Rohrbach among them. When I hosted a Haloween Party that happened to land on the evening of a Cantata concert that year, I was asked to invite Dale Rohrbach because a friend thought he might be a nice match for someone she had invited to my party. So,that evening, during intermission (we were singing at The Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Mid-Town), I pulled Dale aside and asked if he would like to come to my party. I didn’t mention that we were going to try to set him up with someone!

    Well, Long story short- Dale did attend my party and by the end of the night he and I had really connected…that was October of 2002 – it’s now 2011 and this July we’ll celebrate 6 years of marriage and the arrival of our first child!

  4. Lisa M. Smith says:

    Here is the info I have been able to figure out about our history of EuroTours since 1973. If anyone has any corrections (or comments), please share them:

    16 Cantata EuroTours

    1 1973 (Luxembourg & Germany) (Altenburg Cathedral; Erkrath)
    2 1974 (Luxembourg & Germany)
    3 1976 (Germany)
    4 1978 or 1979 (Germany & Switzerland)
    5 1982 (Germany)
    6 1984 (Belgium, Germany & the Netherlands)
    7 1987 (Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein & Switzerland)
    8 1989 (Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia & Poland) (first visit to Kreuzwertheim)
    9 1991 (Germany, Austria & Czech Republic)
    10 1993 (Germany, Italy & Austria) (Cologne Cathedral)
    11 1995 (Germany) (Berlin Cathedral)
    12 1997 (Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russia & the Netherlands)
    13 1999 (Germany, Denmark, Sweden & Finland)
    14 2001 (Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Czech Republic & Germany)
    15 2003 (Italy, San Marino, Croatia & Bosnia and Herzegovina)
    16 2005 (Hungary, Slovakia, Austria & Germany)

    Cantata Academy Chorale has made 16 EuroTours since 1973 and has visited the following 23 countries: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany (East, West, and unified), Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland. Planning for the next EuroTour is underway.

  5. Morton Stelling says:

    Cantata Academy was, for me, a glorious opportunity to be involved — as a modest contributor — in the cultural life of the Detroit area, and at a high level. It was 1979, I was 48, and had not sung in a choir since high school, but tenors are usually in short supply. In Cantata I became acquainted with choral music of the highest quality . . . singing Beethoven’s Ninth, and then the Verdi Requiem with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. As time passed, opportunities arose with the Warren Symphony, the Omaha Symphony Orchestra, and, in the year 2000, with the auditioned Seattle Symphony Chorale. In every year since, the Chorale has averaged about 25 concerts annually with the Symphony. This season we are doing Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony, Carmina Burana, Mozart Requiem, Brahms’ Song of Fate, a Festival of Grand Opera Choruses — and more. A highlight one year was Howard Shore’s Lord of the Rings Symphony — with Shore conducting. I am now 80.

    Following successful concerts I have breathed silent prayers of thanks to the director of my high school a cappella choir — and to Frederick Bellinger and the Cantata Academy.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Cantata Academy Chorale, for the opportunity! Long may you share great choral music with the people of the Detroit area.

  6. Margit Strathmann says:

    It was in summer 1973 when my family first met the wonderful people from Cantata Academy. My mother used to be a member of a German Cantata Choir brought together with Cantata Academy by (as far as I remember) a former member of the German choir who then lived in the US. It was their first concert together in 1973 and much more concerts were to come. We will never forget the magnificent Frederic Bellinger and all lovely Cantata people. Our family was host for some years and my sister and me, being teenagers at the time, where really enthusiastic – we remember our good friends Horace, Steve, Louis, Pam, Liz and so many other. It was a great time.
    Congratulations! And Happy Anniversary!

    The Rappe Family – Germany

  7. Louis Katz says:

    Mr. Larry Wolf, my former junior high teacher, suggested that Steve Greene and I try out for Cantata Academy even though we were high school students. We were accepted, and sang starting I believe in 1971.

    We went on the first Euro tour (HELLO MARGIT who posted above, and thanks).
    A travel agent stole all of our airfares. Steve and I had no money for another ticket, but every one else had funds and bought new tickets. The night before, Ernst Carhart ( I am really not sure of the spelling) who was also in the group lent us the money. We repaid him shortly after the trip, but this was the kind of thing you never really can repay. Singing in the Altenburg Dom was incredible, a high point in my life.
    I teach art at Texas A&M Universtiy and am also currently the Speaker of the Faculty Senate. I work in the same building as Music and Theater. Occasionally a student is waiting outside my door with “sight reading” materials and I show them how art faculty read music.

    I feel incredibly lucky and indebted to those who helped arrange the trip and managed Cantata Academy.

  8. Martin Rauchhaus says:

    I believe it was in the late Sixties or 1970 ? when we met first in Cologne, our familiy accompanied many of your tours supporting the organization and managing accomodation in Cologne, Glücksburg or Kreuzwertheim, where we lived over the years. It was always fun and a big pleasure. I also had the chance to visit Frederic at his place in Detroit, when I worked for GM late 80th. I remember Liz, Pamela, Horace and others, some who joined Cantata for half a lifetime. I remeber Later we had instant singing and piano sessions at our home in Gluecksburg. I check your site from time to time to refresh memories, faces change, hair turns grey but memories grow. Go ahead and may be we meet once again in Germany.

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