Chanticleer Visits SHC

Grammy Award-winning Chanticleer visited SHC on Monday, September 11, as a part of the group’s ongoing education program. The small choral ensemble performed a commented, educational concert for 90 SHC choral students, followed by a student-focused Q&A session.

Chanticleer is a world-renowned vocal group, often called an “orchestra of voices.” Founded in the Bay Area in 1978, the group consists of a dozen male singers ranging from bass to countertenor. They perform a panoply of repertoire from early classical music to punk-inspired compositions and arrangements. Chanticleer collaborates with well-known composers and arrangers, including SHC alum Vince Peterson ’99. It was truly an honor to have them on campus for our young musicians.

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The audience in the Chorus Room was at rapt attention from the downbeat of the first piece, a Gene Puerling arrangement of Kurt Weill’s “Lost in the Stars.” Members of Chanticleer wove teaching about process and musicology in between numbers, exposing some students for the first time to the countertenor voice in arrangement, to the use of imitative polyphony in a 15th Century William Bird piece, to text painting and harmonic textures in a modern Majel Connery cycle, and onward.

Their sharing of information and stage demonstrated the true teamwork necessary for a small choral ensemble and clearly inspired their audience. During a follow-up Q&A, students asked about the members’ educational background, how they carried on into music after college, how repertoire is chosen, and more technical musical preparation questions.

What a treat for our campus to welcome such a generous and skilled group.

You can find more information about Chanticleer and their performances in the Bay Area and throughout the world on their website.

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