Tag: Chanticleer

Chanticleer — “The Orchestra of Voices” — Performs April 13 at Lawrence Memorial Chapel

It will be a homecoming of sorts for Mike Axtell when the 12-member, all-male vocal ensemble Chanticleer takes the Lawrence Memorial Chapel stage Friday, April 13 at 8 p.m. for its 2011-12 Lawrence University Artist Series concert.

Tickets, at $30 for adults and seniors and $15 for students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office in the Music-Drama Center, 920-832-6749.

Mike Axtell '09

A 2009 Lawrence graduate, Axtell is in his second season with Chanticleer. The ensemble is widely known as “The Orchestra of Voices,” in part for a repertoire that spans 10 centuries, from Gregorian chant, Renaissance polyphony and Romantic art song to contemporary music, jazz, spirituals and world music.

Now in its 34th season, San Francisco-based Chanticleer has long earned critics’ praises. The New Yorker magazine has hailed the ensemble as “the world’s reigning male chorus.” Winners of four Grammy Awards, including two for their world-premiere recording of Sir John Tavener’s “Lamentations and Praises,” Chanticleer was named the “Ensemble of the Year” in 2008 by Musical America and became the first vocal ensemble ever inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame that same year.  

“We’re incredibly excited to have Chanticleer on campus,” said Stephen Sieck, co-director of choral studies at Lawrence. “They combine the tight-knit blend of a four- or five-voice ensemble like the Hilliard Ensemble or The King’s Singers with the vocal prowess and flexibility of a much larger ensemble. Their ability to switch from Renaissance to Broadway and everything in between is exceptional.

“As professional men’s vocal ensembles go, this is like having the Berlin Philharmonic come to the Lawrence Memorial Chapel,” Sieck added.

A bass-baritone, Axtell studied in the voice studio of Associate Professor Karen Leigh-Post while at Lawrence, where he earned a degree in B.M. degree in vocal performance and a B.A. degree in theatre. As a student, he sang in the concert choir and performed in numerous theater productions, including the role of the prince in Lawrence’s production of “Cinderella.”

Axtell is the second Lawrence graduate to perform with Chanticleer, joining former member Gabriel Lewis-O’Connor ’04.

Beyond an exhausting performance schedule, which includes more than 100 performances around the world during the 2011-12 season, Chanticleer is dedicated to music education and outreach. For more than 20 years, the ensemble has offered master classes, lecture recitals and residencies to high school and college students. During their visit to Lawrence, members of the ensemble will hold a master class and work with the concert choir.

Since Chanticleer made its debut in June, 1978, more than 100 men have sung in the ensemble.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges by Forbes, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,445 students from 44 states and 35 countries.  Follow us on Facebook.

Lawrence University Unveils “Stunning” 2011-2012 Performing Artist and Jazz Series Lineup

Eleven time Grammy® winning jazz pianist and composer Lyle Mays returns to Wisconsin in November in one of eight thrilling Lawrence University Performing Artist and Jazz Series concerts lined up for the 2011-2012 season.

Recognized around the world as a master of the keyboard, Mays has toured with Woody Herman’s Young Thundering Herd, performed with jazz and pop icons Ricky Lee Jones, Joni Mitchell and Bobby McFerrin, and established a 35-year musical collaboration as an integral member of the Pat Metheny Group.

Lyle Mays

A native of Wausaukee, Mays takes the Lawrence Memorial Chapel stage Nov. 5, 2011, with the Lawrence Faculty Jazz Trio, the Lawrence Studio Orchestra and the Lawrence Jazz Ensemble as part of Jazz Celebration Weekend.

“We’ve put together a stunning lineup of musical performances with something for everyone,” said Brian Pertl, dean of the Lawrence Conservatory of Music. “If you’ve never been to Lawrence for a concert, the performers in this series will blow you away.”

The series kicks off Oct. 14, with the Turtle Island Quartet, winners of the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Classical Crossover Album, “A Love Supreme.” Turtle Island fuses a classical string quartet aesthetic with contemporary American musical styles, redefining the state of the art. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma called Turtle Island “a reflection of some of the most creative music-making today.”

On Oct. 24, renowned pianist Richard Goode brings his tremendous emotional power, depth and expressiveness to the Lawrence campus. Goode’s music making has inspired critics around the world to utter such praise as “you’d swear the composer himself was at the keyboard, expressing musical thoughts that had just come into his head.”

Joining Mays for Jazz Celebration Weekend Nov. 4-5 is the Tierney Sutton Band, which celebrated its third consecutive Grammy nomination for Best Vocal Jazz Album for 2009’s “Desire.” The album was described as a “conceptual masterpiece” by the Chicago Sun Times and critics call the Tierney Sutton Band’s music enduring, conveying “a sense of spiritual meditation… and a pure jazz spirit.”

The artist and jazz series continues Feb. 17, 2012 with the Jeremy Pelt Quintet. One of the most talked about jazz trumpeters of the past decade, Pelt and his band mates “swing hard, and they swagger in their arrangements,” said reviewer Jeff Krow. “Pelt is at the peak of his powers with the power and range of Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard in their seminal years.”

So Percussion creates music not easy to define, exploring all the extremes of emotion and musical possibility. The quartet, performing March 10, 2012 at Lawrence, has been called an “experimental powerhouse” by the Village Voice, “astonishing and entrancing” by Billboard Magazine and “brilliant” by the New York Times. Edgy (at least in the sense that little other music sounds like this) and ancient (in that people have been hitting objects for eons), they are among today’s most exciting composers and their own original music has quickly helped them forge a unique and diverse career.


Hailed as “the world’s reigning male chorus,” by The New Yorker magazine, Chanticleer performs at Lawrence Memorial Chapel April 13, 2012. Chanticleer is known as “an orchestra of voices” for the seamless blend of its 12 male voices ranging from countertenor to bass and its original interpretations of vocal literature, from Renaissance to jazz, and from gospel to new music.

The Performing Artist and Jazz Series closes May 11, 2012, with a performance by the extraordinary Panamanian pianist and composer Danilo Perez.  His distinctive blend of Pan-American jazz has attracted critical acclaim and his abundant talents and enthusiasm make his concerts memorable and inspiring. Perez will perform with the Lawrence Faculty Jazz Trio.

Subscriptions for the series are on sale now and subscribers may choose from the artist, jazz, or “favorite 4” concert packages, with discounts available to senior citizens and students. Single-concert tickets go on sale Sept. 15, 2011. Contact the Lawrence University Box Office at 920-832-6749 or visit for more information.