Kantorei & Joel Rinsema


Biography Kantorei & Joel Rinsema



Kantorei
or singers, formed in 1997 under the leadership of 6 friends who decided to form a choir capable of singing a broad range of a cappella choral music. With the addition of Richard Larson as artistic director and a handful of additional singers, the group quickly found a footing in the cultural fabric of Denver, Colorado.

Now in its 20th full season of performing, the group has expanded into an auditioned ensemble of volunteer singers under the direction of Artistic Director Joel M. Rinsema. Many of the singers come from schools with strong choral music programs, such as Augustana, Brigham Young, Concordia, Luther, St. Olaf, Wartburg, and the University of Northern Colorado.

Kantorei established itself as one of the nation’s premier choral ensembles after performing as an auditioned choir for the 2003 National American Choral Directors Association Conference at Carnegie Hall in New York City. In June 2007, Kantorei embarked on its first-ever international tour to France and Italy. The tour culminated with the distinct honor of singing for Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica.

Having become a choir of national recognition, Kantorei frequently hosts composers and conductors of international renown. Kantorei has recently worked with such important choral conductors as René Clausen, Anton Armstrong, Simon Carrington, and Eric Whitacre. Kantorei has also commissioned and premiered new choral works from composers including Eric Whitacre, René Clausen, Eric William Barnum, Timothy Tharaldson, Joshua Shank, and Abbie Betinis.

More recently, Kantorei was featured in several Regional and National conferences, including the 2008 National Performing Arts Convention and the 2010 Southwestern Regional ACDA Convention. In March 2011, Kantorei performed by invitation at its second National ACDA Convention, including a featured performance at Orchestra Hall in Chicago, IL. Kantorei completed its second international tour in June 2012, with performances in Salzburg, Vienna, Prague, and Budapest.

20150517_montview_078Following the 2012-2013 season, Richard Larson stepped down from his position as Artistic Director and Conductor, and was subsequently named Artistic Director and Conductor Emeritus. Current Artistic Director Joel M. Rinsema began his tenure with the choir in the 2014-2015 season.

Joel M. Rinsema
joined Kantorei in 2014 from the Grammy Award-winning Phoenix Chorale. Throughout his 23-year tenure with the Phoenix Chorale, he served in nearly every capacity with the organization including the last 15 years as President & CEO and Assistant Conductor. The Phoenix Chorale experienced tremendous artistic and organizational successes during this time. The organization enjoyed financial stability and growth, including doubling season subscription and single ticket sales and individual contributions over the past five years. As Assistant Conductor, Joel assisted in all aspects of artistic planning and leadership. He negotiated an ongoing recording contract with the prestigious U.K.-based Chandos Records, and Phoenix Chorale recordings have earned a total of eight Grammy nominations and two Grammy wins.

Joel RinsemaHe first joined the Phoenix Chorale as a singer in 1992. A frequent featured tenor soloist, Joel appears on all of the Phoenix Chorale recordings and was a soloist on the Grammy Award-winning Spotless Rose: Hymn to the Virgin Mary.

Joel is a passionate advocate for the professional choral art form, and he frequently consults with other choral arts organizations locally and around the country. Because of his leadership in his field, he received the Louis Botto Award for “Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal” from Chorus America, the industry’s advocacy, research, and leadership development organization for choruses, choral leaders, and singers.

In addition to his work with the Phoenix Chorale, Joel served as the Director of Music at Church of the Beatitudes United Church of Christ in Phoenix for 15 years, and was the founding chorusmaster of the Arizona Musicfest Chorus.

20150517_montview_062As a tenor soloist, Joel performed across the United States and in Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. Joel is an accomplished conductor of major works for choir and orchestra. He was one of eighteen conductors chosen nationally through audition to participate in master classes and workshops presented by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association and Chorus America. He holds music degrees from Arizona State University and Whitworth University and considers Dr. Randi Von Ellefson, Dr. Donald Bailey, Jon Washburn and Charles Bruffy his most influential mentors.

In March of 2017, Joel begins his tenure as the North American Choral Promotion Manager for Oxford University Press based in Oxford, England, United Kingdom.

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