Dec. 1 2010 12:00 AM

Chanticleer sings in the season at Wharton




All-male a cappella chorus Chanticleer brings “A Chanticleer Christmas” to Wharton Center on Sunday. The concert surveys 1,000 years of music, from early English Christmas carols to the premiere of a song specifically written for the vocal ensemble.

Matt Oltman, Chanticleer’s music director, has been involved with the 12-man group for 12 seasons.

He and the group look forward to performing in college towns like East Lansing.

“Audiences are very educated and passionate, and we get lots of students,” he said. “MSU is known for its music program, and it’s great to have students that really appreciate what we have to offer in the audience. It gives a nice energy to the concert.”

Chanticleer is a full-time job for its members, as they perform about 100 times a year, as well as participating in educational concerts and events.

Oltman said Chanticleer’s members like to bring musical education to areas that may not have it, and inspire music students that may aspire to be professional singers.

“In some communities their education funding is cut or they don’t have access to arts education in the schools and we try to come fill a void or be inspirational in that way,” he said. “In other parts of the country the vocal arts are very strong and we can show the students what is possible if they want to continue with music. We want the next generation to be interested in the time of music we do.”

Partly thanks to the hit TV show "Glee," he said, choir has been growing in popularity.

Oltman said he has seen “every nook and cranny” of the United States, and much of Europe and Asia through his travels with Chanticleer.

“It’s fun to explore new places and get a taste of culture and geography,” he said. “It’s nice to feel somewhat at home in many different places. I know my favorite spot to eat in Paris, my favorite bar in St. Louis.”


3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5 Cobb Great Hall, Wharton Center $28 (800) WHARTON