Kantorei to bring rule-breaking choral music to St. Peter’s

Kansas City overflows with an abundance of glorious choral music, and one ensemble that stands out for its distinctive voice is Kantorei.

Founded in 2009 by Chris Munce, Kantorei brings a bright and British sound to its performance. On Sept. 23, the group will present the music of Italian Renaissance composer Carlo Gesualdo and contemporary Estonian composer Arvo Pärt in a program called “The True Vine.” The concert is at St. Peter’s church on Meyer Boulevard.

Kantorei has its origins as a pick-up group performing at Catholic weddings. Munce sensed that his ensemble had something special to offer. It wasn’t long before Kantorei put together a season’s worth of music and began to make its mark in Kansas City. For Munce, what really distinguishes Kantorei is its sound.

“American choirs tend to go for a warmer sound, and we go for a ringing and resonant, bright sound,” he said. “With the small number of singers we have, 15 singers this year, to really fill the room and make the pews vibrate, it requires a brighter, resonant tone from the singers.”

Munce believes that the group’s “bright” sound is especially suited to early music like Gesualdo’s and that Pärt’s mystical minimalism also will benefit.

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