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Chanticleer

Voice performance program reaches new heights as two alums join world's leading a capella group

Posted: 10/02/2012
Two of the twelve members of Chanticleer, considered by many to be the best a cappella group in the world, are recent graduates of the vocal performance program at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA).

Tenor Michael Bresnahan, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music, and male soprano Gregory Peebles, who received a master’s degree in music, both from Roosevelt University in 2008, are touring around the world and singing in approximately 220 concerts this season as members of Chanticleer.

“I always wanted a singing job with benefits. It’s an answer to a dream,” said Bresnahan, who was asked over the summer to join the San Francisco-based group that has been performing on the West Coast this fall and will travel to China next spring and parts of Europe next season.

Peebles has been a member of Chanticleer since shortly after graduating, singing multiple times all over the world annually. “There’s a lot singing involved with Chanticleer and I never could have done it without my voice instructors at CCPA,” said Peebles.

Both Bresnahan and Peebles studied with Mark Crayton, a lecturer in voice in CCPA’s Music Conservatory, and both sang with the choir at the Episcopal Church of St. Matthews in Evanston, Ill., where Crayton is choir director.

“I wanted to give them a venue where they could practice what they were learning in their lessons,” Crayton said. “Being part of the church choir gave them an opportunity to read a lot of music very quickly, which is a critical skill to have when you’re part of a group like Chanticleer.”

“I know this experience is going to open doors for both of these very fine singers in the future,” Crayton added.
 
Both Bresnahan and Peebles praised Crayton, as well as the entire CCPA voice performance faculty, for working with them to improve their singing technique.  Both said they also learned how to keep their composure and how to pace themselves while singing, more critical skills to have as full-time singers with Chanticleer.

“I always wanted to sing with the group, ever since I first heard it when I was 15, but I always thought it was unlikely because Chanticleer has only 12 members,” said Peebles.

“I definitely wanted to be part of this group for a long, long time,” added Bresnahan, “and I’d like to thank all of the voice teachers at CCPA, and especially Mark Crayton, Matthew Chellis and Dana Brown for working with me to make this happen.”