Chanticleer was the rooster that crowed with attitude in Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales."
Chanticleer is also a Grammy-award winning men's a cappella choir that performed at St. Paul's By-the-Sea Episcopal Church on January 25, 2015 as part of the Beaches Fine Arts Series concert season. This phenomenal group of singers has toured the world celebrating the gift of fine music-making. They are masters of the Choral Art and we were blessed to experience first-hand what it is like to sing with an ensemble of this caliber. These guys "sing with attitude!"
The Ladies Chamber Chorus of Duncan U. Fletcher Senior High School was invited to participate in a Master Class the day after their concert. We were joined by the University of North Florida Chorale, under the direction of Dr. Cara Tasher. What an incredible experience for my singers!
Each choir was asked to come with 1-2 pieces of music that were "performance ready." Each choir would have 30-minutes to "workshop" their pieces with four of the singers who had remained behind for this "Artist in Residence" experience. My girls were nervous about singing in front of these guys. They weren't sure what they would say about their sound. They are young singers, but they have a lovely sound. The first words out of Kory's mouth were, "Girls, you have a lovely sound. Now, let's see if we can make music with the sounds you are producing."
Master Class facilitators from Chanticleer
Ladies Chamber Chorus - Duncan U. Fletcher Senior High School
Neptune Beach, FL
They spent much of their time trying to help the girls understand that it is their job to communicate the song to the audience. Their faces must reflect the text and their bodies must support the sound so that the audience engages in the aesthetic experience. Their job is to move the audience to another place; a place where beauty overtakes them and they resonate with the sound and the message of the song.
St.. Paul's By-the-Sea is a spectacular venue for choral singing. The church is built out of cocquina - a mixture of concrete and small shells - a unique form of building material used primarily in coastal cities. The acoustics are excellent for ensemble singing and the concert series is free. It is a "win-win" for choral music afficionados in our area.
I would like to thank the men from Chanticleer for enlightening my students and building their confidence in their own abilities as singers. I would also like to express my sincere appreciation to Kathy Wallis, Executive Director of the Beaches Fine Arts Series, for bringing Chanticleer to Jacksonville Beach and providing my choir with the opportunity to experience their music both at the concert and in our workshop the following day. It was an awesome experience that will resonate with my students for many years to come.
Until next time...