It gets more and more like Christmas as we go along. Here's Jace's diary of our first day in Chicago. Today was a full day in Chicago (one of our favorite cities). At 12:30 we got on a bus to the studios of WFMT to sing live, on-air. We shared a bit of Gregorian chant alongside the music of Tomas Luis de Victoria, Hans Leo Hassler, Healey Willan, and carols from the 13th century to present-day. After the performances of Christmas repertoire, we spoke with the host, Carl Grapentine, about our new studio album, Someone New, and played a track from it ("I Feel Better"). Chanticleer veterans know Carl quite well after many years with him hosting our appearances on WFMT, and he makes new members feel right at home, too. It's always a pleasure to sing in their studio, and we thank them for their hospitality.
We departed WFMT at 2:45 and, after sitting in Chicago's legendary traffic, found ourselves back at the hotel at 4:00pm. Pre-concert warmup began at 5:45, so there was just enough time to grab a bite to eat, iron tuxedos, and stroll over to the gorgeous Fourth Presbyterian Church--our Christmastime home here in Chicago. Virtually every seat was filled... always a humbling and exciting sight for performers, made more special by the knowledge that almost all of us had friends and family in the crowd. Carl Grapentine came tonight to hear the portion of the concert that we didn't perform at WFMT. Also in attendance were Stacy Garrop (composer of "Give Me Hunger," featured on our fall/spring touring program) and Steve Hackman (arranger/composer who contributed two tracks to Someone New). Both of them brought family, whom we enjoyed meeting.
Thanks to the Chicago Symphony for bringing us here each year. One more performance here tomorrow before we head to New York! Jace