Acclaimed a capella Chanticleer performs tonight

By By Jenny Lieber

By Jenny Lieber

Tonight, for the first time, internationally renowned vocal ensemble Chanticleer will perform in the School of Music’s Virtuoso Series in Libby Gardner Concert Hall.

The theme for the evening is “Love’s Messenger,” and the performance will include classical Renaissance, jazz, folk and spiritual pieces.

Named for the “clear-singing” rooster from Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, Chanticleer has garnered much acclaim. The New Yorker praises the Grammy Award-winning group as “America’s favorite choral ensemble.”

“Chanticleer is a great example of the best of men’s a cappella,” said Amy Bryan, director of marketing and public relations for Chanticleer. “Their music is very challenging and difficult.”

Flawlessly blending together, Chanticleer’s 12 male voices range from countertenor to bass, and have earned them the reputation as “an orchestra of voices.” This San Francisco-based ensemble is known for its vivid interpretations of vocal music from Renaissance to jazz and from gospel to new, adventurous music.

“One thing that is unique about this group is that they are one of the only choral music groups that are employed full time,” Bryan said. “We are a professional group and this is what the men do for a career.”

Many of the ensemble members have sung professionally in opera, had solo singing careers or taught voice lessons, she said. The group has a wide range of talent.

This year, Chanticleer has seven new members. Each went through a rigorous audition process, including submitting a CD showcasing his vocal abilities, then singing live for the current group and the director, Joseph Jennings.

“This concert will really show the range and ability of what we do; they are dynamic performers,” Bryan said. “It’s an inspiring and impressive concert and music students, especially, should be encouraged to attend.”

During 2006 and 2007, Chanticleer will perform more than 80 concerts in 22 states across the nation. The group will make appearances in places such as Walt Disney Concert Hall under the support of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Cathedrals of St. Louis and Philadelphia, the Library of Congress in Washington D.C., New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and Vassar College.

“Students should attend this event because the group is an absolutely stellar ensemble,” said Amy Leung, coordinator of the Virtuoso Series at the U. “Their repertoire is wide-ranging, well-choreographed, entertaining and fun.”

The concert will be held tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Libby Gardner Concert Hall. Admission is $25 for adults and $10 for students and children. Tickets may be purchased at Kingsbury Hall Box Office or at Libby Gardner Box Office an hour before the show. Visit www.kingsburyhall.com for more information.