This episode is a special first on the show. I have never gone ON LOCATION to meet an entire ensemble for a conversation before, and let me tell you… it was worth the gear haul to Lawrence, KS! GRAMMY Award winning ensemble, Chanticleer was at the Lied Center of Kansas for a performance and Master Class at KU, and was able to squeeze in some time for YOU the Choralosophy Audience. The twelve men of Chanticleer and I had a fast paced round table discussion about what it’s like to be at the Choral music mountaintop in the ensemble, about the vocal gymnastics of counter tenors, the unique space that the group occupies somewhere between “choir” and “chamber ensemble” as well as their thoughts about what it takes to create truly MAGICAL performances and moments in music making.
The GRAMMY® Award-winning vocal ensemble Chanticleer has been hailed as “the world’s reigning male chorus” by The New Yorker, and is known around the world as “an orchestra of voices” for its wide-ranging repertoire and dazzling virtuosity. Founded in San Francisco in 1978 by singer and musicologist Louis Botto, Chanticleer quickly took its place as one of the most prolific recording and touring ensembles in the world, selling over one million recordings and performing thousands of live concerts to audiences around the world.
Chanticleer’s repertoire is rooted in the renaissance, and has continued to expand to include a wide range of classical, gospel, jazz, popular music, and a deep commitment to the commissioning of new compositions and arrangements. The ensemble has committed much of its vast recording catalogue to these commissions, garnering GRAMMY® Awards for its recording of Sir John Tavener’s “Lamentations & Praises”, and the ambitious collection of commissioned works entitled “Colors of Love”. Chanticleer is the recipient of the Dale Warland/Chorus America Commissioning Award and the ASCAP/Chorus America Award for Adventurous Programming, and its Music Director Emeritus Joseph H. Jennings received the Brazeal Wayne Dennard Award for his contribution to the African-American choral tradition during his tenure with Chanticleer.
Named for the “clear-singing” rooster in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Chanticleer continues to maintain ambitious programming in its hometown of San Francisco, including a large education and outreach program that recently reached over 8,000 people, and an annual concert series that includes its legendary holiday tradition “A Chanticleer Christmas”.