UMS to bring Chanticleer’s touching 'Heart of a Soldier' to Hill Auditorium

Monday, November 6, 2017 - 9:58pm

This Friday, the Grammy award-winning group Chanticleer will perform “Heart of a Soldier” at Hill Auditorium. Chanticleer blends 12 male voices to create an “orchestra of voices.” The group performs interpretations of vocal literature and contemporary compositions.

The show tells stories about soldiering by traveling through history through music, looking at music by William Byrd about the Babylonian Captivity and the fall of Jerusalem, and by Janequin about the Battle of Marignano. It also looks at popular pieces from the world wars and ending with a reminder of peace with music composed by artists such as John Musto.

“This concert is slightly different from what might be called a ‘typical Chanticleer show,’” wrote Chanticleer Music Director, William Scott, in an interview with The Daily. “Those shows started with very early music, perhaps Gregorian chant, and ended with some combination of Gershwin and African-American spirituals. This program, on the other hand, ends with a message about peace that is not only timely but, we hope elegant and moving.”

Chanticleer does not stop at just the music. Instead, the group also displays the emotional and theatrical realms of soldiering. From loss to betrayal to rage to hope, there is an intense range for the soldiers they portray.

“It is a program of lights and shadows, happiness as well as sadness, fast music and slow, in a variety of languages and styles, with giddy sound effects alongside poignant reminders of how much better peace is, after all,” Scott wrote.

In doing so, Chanticleer encompasses the entire experience of being a soldier with grace, touching its audience members in the process. They are coming to the University as a part of Veterans Week.

“We have had many veterans come up to us with tears in their eyes, thanking us for the way the program seems to point out the ennobling contribution of soldiers to our country's (and any country's) past,” Scott wrote.

Scott noted how gratifying it is to have touched people in such a way. He also wrote that many people especially enjoy singing along in pleasure to the pop songs “My Buddy,” “Boogie-Woogie-Bugle-Boy” and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone.”

“As always, music touches people in a visceral and sometimes vulnerable spot,” Scott wrote. “I hope we sing the program convincingly, in tune, with good diction and style and that the audience will feel that they have enjoyed going on this musical journey with us.”

The U-M Glee Club will also make a cameo appearance in the performance. Scott noted that one of his favorite moments will definitely be when the Glee Club’s singers join in singing Jennifer Higdon's touching "Our Beautiful Country."

Chanticleer began discussing the concept because the duality between history and emotions seemed interesting. They received exciting responses from composers Mason Bates and Musto and moved on to create the compelling program that is now “Heart of a Soldier.”

“What we hadn't known at the time we started planning this program was the incredible need to remind ourselves of the siren call of peace that so needs to be heard right now.”


UMS presents Chanticleer's "Heart of a Soldier" 

Hill Auditorium 

Friday November 10th @ 8 P.M.

$12-56 (depends on seating)