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Schola Gregoriana Cantabo

Cantabo was founded, on Palm Sunday 1990, by eight twenty-year-old members of the Antwerp Cathedral Choir. These were recruited to enhance the weekly Holy Mass in the Antwerp St. Paul’s Church. Since then, Cantabo also includes the High Days Vespers in its repertoire. As well as performing at Masses and Vespers, Cantabo also gives concerts, usually in combination with other choirs. The Gregorians have travelled extensively, to Denmark and England, Switzerland, France, The Czech Republic, Italy and Spain. Four singers have followed lessons for several years with Ronnie Plovie, Fred Schneyderberg, Wim van Gerven and Frans Mariman. Since the choir’s meeting with organist Bart Wuilmus, the mutual enthusiasm has grown into a permanent collaboration. When Bart was appointed organist of the St. Lambertus Church, Cantabo followed him to Ekeren. The former twenty-year-olds have since become forty-year-olds with families and jobs. The weekly learning of a new Proprium plus accompanying Holy Mass are no longer possible, but Cantabo strives to give six performances a year. When several Cantando members became Cantabo members, and vice versa, admission to the C Choirs in 2007 became evident. Cantabo was appointed Ensemble in residence of the Antwerp St. Paul’s Church in 2017.

In 2011, the think tank Cleyn Seminarie, an offshoot of Cantabo, was set up. Its mission is to bring low-threshold Gregorian music to a wider public. This has resulted in original collaborations between Cantabo and musicians from entirely different genres: Hendrik Braeckman (jazz guitar), Kurt Van Herck (sax), Stefan Bracaval ( ute), Mike and Ivan Smeudlers (accordeon and other instruments), Bart Wuilmus (organ), Jo Hermans (jazz bugle), Four Aces (guitar quartet), Les Øffs (cabaret) and many more.

Jan Pandelaers — Hugo Brangers — Peter Janssens — Jo Tanghe — Werner Truyens — Jeroen De Vylder — Dirk Van Hoecke