Monday, September 27, 2010

Good Bye Come see our new site and blog

We've launched our new site, complete with a new blog.
We will no longer be posting here at

Visit us @

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"Suavity and Transparence" says the SF Chron!!!!

Here are the first two reviews from last week's "Out of this World" concerts here in the Bay Area. You can still see it - or come again - tonight, Tuesday in Walnut Creek, Thursday in Santa Clara, Saturday in Napa, Sunday in Sacramento.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ben Johns talks about Lab Choir in week 3

First, we thought you'd like to know which schools are represented in Lab Choir 2, our after school honors choir:
Albany High School (2)
Berkeley High School
Maybeck High School (Berkeley)
Oakland Technical High School
Jewish Community High School of the Bay (SF)
Lick-Wilmerding High School (SF)
Lowell High School (SF)
Davis Sr. High School (3)
UC Davis (2)
Santa Rosa High School
Santa Rosa Jr. College
Tamalpais High School
Athenian School (Danville)
Mt. Diablo High School
Concord High School (3)

The theme for this weekend's rehearsal was "Ensemble." Now that most of the notes are learned, the LAB singers were able to turn their attention to some of the finer elements of singing together. Again, I'm struck by how quickly these students can focus and adapt to singing with each other when a week has passed without contact. Whether it's tackling new vocal techniques (like harmonic overtone singing for Past Life Melodies), learning about homophony, imitation, and inversion, or attending to business (like voting on T-shirt designs), the LAB Choir plows forward with enthusiasm.  At this halfway point we're on track for our debut at the Youth Choral Festival on Oct. 22...there's more work and fun ahead!

Break times are good too!

BIG DAY: our new website/digital storefront goes live TONIGHT - MONDAY!

At the second San Francisco performance of "Out of this World" yesterday, Matt talked to the audience about all the music we'll be making newly available on our new digital storefront by the end of this month. Singles of "Cells Planets," "Observer in the Magellanic Cloud" and "Sirens," whole live concerts from the past ( Comedian Harmonists from 2002, this year's National Youth Choral Festival and "For Thy Soul's Salvation,"just for starters) our brand new Christmas recording "A Chanticleer Christmas" AND pretty soon, highlights from "Out of this World." Come visit us on the website; your patronage of our store is a big help to us!

Many longtime faithful fans were there yesterday, plus some students from School of the Arts, AND our youngest fan, Sophia, who's been coming for a few years since her father joined our Board of Trustees. We're always interested to hear her opinions. She's been deeply devoted to Eric

and now there's also Casey (soloist in "Cells Planets") who was a member of the Duke's Men at Yale University, just like Sophia's father.

There are four Bay Area performances of "Out of this World" this week - tomorrow at the Lesher Center at Walnut Creek, Thursday at the Mission Santa Clara, Saturday at the Napa Opera House,
and Sunday at St. Francis of Assissi in Sacramento. Hope to see you.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

September: sad news to report

We have learned of the passing of Ken Fitch, counter tenor in the ensemble from 1988-1997.  Eric Alatorre remembers him:

Ken was an alum of the Royal College in London, sang with the Boston Camerata in Boston, eventually with Frank Albinder in that group. He came to Chanticleer as one of its core members when there was still a split between the 8 full time members who toured and the 4 part time who did local / large projects and recording. He was hired as a soprano, but really loved the top alto chair, and was a soloist in several Chanticleer recordings including: Virgen Sancta, A un niƱo llorando, Stormy Weather, and other solos in the Mexican Baroque series we did. He was a loyal husband, loving father, and not only a good friend, but a patient mentor to me in my early years. He lived in Napa, and commuted to SF every day, but always was a cheerful and upbeat despite being away from his family so much. He was also the last person in the group who had a child, until last year. He is survived by his wife, Kathleen, and his son John.