Called "the world's reigning male chorus," by New Yorker magazine, Chanticleer returns to Bethel College Tuesday to perform as part of the Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts series.
Here's what you need to know:
1) Chanticleer was founded by Louis Botto in 1978. A graduate student in musicology, Botto was mystified by the lack of any group performing vocal music of the medieval and Renaissance periods. He decided to form a group using only male voices, as was the tradition in most churches during the Renaissance.
2) Botto enlisted members of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus and the Grace Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys for his new group. Nine members were selected, including Botto. Now, members are auditioned from around the world.
3) The name Chanticleer was taken from Geoffrey Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales." Chanticleer was the name of the "clear singing" rooster in The Nun's Priest's Tale. It is a combination of the French words chanter ("to sing") and clair ("clear").
4) Chanticleer has sung in some of the grandest concert halls and churches in the world. But it has also performed in a barn in Canada, a roofless church in the former East Germany, a gymnasium in Sweden, and in Central Park with the New York Philharmonic.
Chanticleer will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Memorial Hall, Bethel College, 300 E. 27th, North Newton. Tickets are $19 to $23, with discounts available. Call 620-327-8158 or 316-284-5205, or go online at www.hesston.edu/hbpa/.