Cor Cantiamo is a professional choir founded with the mission to perform and promote contemporary choral music and foster new composers for the art form. Since their inception in the spring of 2009, the choir has emerged as an energetic and accomplished vocal ensemble, receiving accolades for their performances. Morten Lauridsen, has praised the ensemble for presenting “choral artistry at its finest.”

Cor Cantiamo maintains an active touring concert season, recent highlights include: Illinois ACDA State Convention 2017, Musica Viva Concert Series 2017, Community Outreach with Illinois High School choirs, and regular events at NIU. Cor Cantiamo has performed multiple World and U.S. Premiers and works directly with composers around the world. The ensemble has developed an active and successful recording program. With an emphasis on recording contemporary works and collaboration with commissioned composers, Cor Cantiamo is establishing a significant artistic legacy.

Their first CD release, Canticum: Choral Music of Jaakko Mäntyjärvi (August 2014 Centaur Records), contains repertoire highlighting the profound compositional voice of Mäntyjärvi. This album also features Alarum Bells a work commissioned by Dr. Johnson and premiered by Cor Cantiamo in 2012. Their second commercial release Psallite, (April 2016 Divine Arts), has received multiple positive reviews from magazines (Fanfare, American Record Guide) and leaders in the choral field particularly noting the artistry and breadth of expression the ensemble. During the summer of 2016, Cor Cantiamo recorded their third album, Psallite II, in partnership with Soli Deo Gloria Inc., and Abbey Road Studios, London. Their 4th CD was recorded in May 2017 and featured choral works by James Whitbourn, with Cor Cantiamo’s commissioned work, the Seven Heavens being the titular recording.

Cor Cantiamo’s educational outreach objectives are achieving great success. The Masterworks project 2017 was a huge success and partnering school districts are now confirmed for 2018 (Hayden: Lord Nelson Mass). The Masterworks project is an educational outreach program established to introduce aspiring high school singers to choral/orchestral masterworks in a professional setting. During the project the high school chamber choirs will have the opportunity to rehearse and perform side by side with the professional singers of Cor Cantiamo.

Cor Cantiamo’s artistic activities are generously supported by private donors and the following foundations: Wurlitzer Foundation, The Douglas C. & Lynn M. Roberts Family Foundation, DeKalb County Community Foundation, DCNP-NGOLD Internship program, and the Cy Miller Family Foundation.


Eric A. Johnson D.M.A. is the Founding Artistic Director of Cor Cantiamo and Director of Choral Activities at Northern Illinois University. Ensembles under his direction have performed at multiple national and division conventions for the National Collegiate Choral Organization, American Choral Directors Association and the Music Educators National Conference. He has served as a guest conductor at Avery Fisher Hall Lincoln Center (2013, 2009), toured internationally (England 2010 and 2006, Sweden and Denmark 2004, Poland 2002), and prepared choruses for collaborations with professional orchestras.

Internationally, Johnson has served as a guest conductor of the Clare College Chapel Choir (Cambridge, England), taught at Makumira University (Arusha, Tanzania), the Universidade do Estado do Rio Grande do Norte (Natal, Brazil), and directed guest choral residencies at Canterbury and Worcester Cathedrals.  As the Artistic Director of Cor Cantiamo, Johnson has recorded commercial CDs released on Centaur Records and the Divine Arts record labels.  He has collaborated with many leading composers of our time including Morten Lauridsen, Libby Larsen, Sir John Tavener, Jaakko Mäntyjärvi, James Whitbourn, Timothy Takach, and Stacey Gibbs.

Dr. Johnson has published music with Santa Barbara Music Publishing, served as a music editor for Earthsongs Publications, and has published articles in the Choral Journal.  He is active nationally as a clinician and guest conductor for high school and collegiate honor choirs, including Head Line Clinician for the Michigan ACDA state Conference, conductor for the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association Collegiate Honor Choir and the Wisconsin School Music Association Women’s All-State Choir.

JoEllyn Caulfield

Jeni Lynn Etheridge

Deanna Frances

Sarah Fallon

Samantha Resser

Erin Truesdell

Claire Woerner

Amy Allen

Toria Burrell

Julie Dee

Adrianne Gallaugher-Beetstra

Janna Mudlin

Aimee Taylor

Mark Baglione

Daniel Beetstra

Cameron Cararra

Niall Casserly

Andrew Gust

Gregor King

Brian Balika

Tom L. Foust

Eric Gewenger

Dave Hartley

Jens Hurty

Brian Jozwiak

David Pfenninger

Michael Richards

Michael Thoms

Eric A. Johnson, Founding Artistic Director and President

Lindy Arnett

Daniel Beetstra

Toria Burrell

JoEllyn Caulfield

Tom Fallon

Connie McCleary

Corey Paskiewicz

Amy Schwartz

Nya Taylor, Administrative Assistant