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SFCM Chorus Gets Special Guests: Grammy Winners Chanticleer

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The group, founded in 1978, has been awarded three GRAMMYs for its recorded output. The singers held a special performance for students and offered notes on a Chorus performance.

November 20, 2023 by Alex Heigl

There were a few extra voices at an SFCM Chorus rehearsal in November—and they came with a pretty impressive pedigree.

Long-running San Francisco male choir Chanticleer stopped in to attend and give a short performance to the Conservatory Chorus, a connection made thanks to Chorus Director Eric Choate.

Calling them "one of the great treasures of the choral world" and "a fixture in the fine arts of San Francisco since their founding in 1978," Choate explained, "I met with their Artistic Director, Tim Keeler, last spring to discuss our shared desire to forge a stronger connection between the students at SFCM and Chanticleer, and we both agreed that we must get our choirs in the same room together."

Chanticleer with the SFCM Chorus.

Chanticleer with the SFCM Chorus.

Keeler led the chorus in a warm-up exercise, and after the group performed two works for the Chorus, SFCM reciprocated with three performances drawn from the Chorus' upcoming December performance. 

"All of the singers from Chanticleer took turns offering wisdom and musical guidance to our students," Choate continued. "Much of what they imparted was not only vocal technique, but singing with direction, agency, passion, and confidence. This was an extraordinary opportunity for our students to sing side-by-side with Chanticleer, and we are hopeful that it will become a regular occurrence."

Chanticleer with the SFCM Chorus.

Chanticleer with the SFCM Chorus.

"SFCM is unique in that all undergraduate students, regardless of their area of study, participate in the Conservatory Chorus. "Choral singing is a core component of one's musical formation," Choate says. "Through it, students develop a command of musicianship and intonation, sharpen their intuition for phrasing, heighten their sensitivity in ensemble performance, and expand their ability to internalize multiple contrapuntal lines."

The Chorus will be performing on Sunday, Dec. 3 at 5:00 p.m. in the Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall at 50 Oak Street. Guests can reserve a seat here.