Kantorei began, in its infancy, in 2009 as a choir assembled for the wedding of my brother at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Kansas City. Later that year we performed on a concert at Lee’s Summit First Presbyterian under the name “Renaissance Voices.” (We like our new name much better.) The performance was well received, and enjoyed greatly by the singers, so my wife Beth and I began to think of a way to do this more often. That opportunity came about a year later when a friend asked me to assemble a choir for his wedding at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church. This was the excuse we needed to sing together again, so we decided to ask the group to form something more “official.” They were all in, so Kantorei was born.
The first concert season finally materialized in 2010 with our first Christmas concert. Our approach to choral music making is outside of the mainstream. We have carefully selected the finest professional singers available and tasked them all with being in charge of the artistic process. Artistic Director, Chris Munce, serves as a guide and facilitator providing an artistic vision for the big picture while each singer provides his or her expertise and vocal ability to shape the details of the art form. We have shed the "conductor in front" model in favor of a more collegial music making process.
Kantorei has since branched out from its roots in early music to a truly diverse repertoire of music from the Medieval Period to world premieres. This is evidenced by our two recordings. “Sweet Was the Song” was released independently in 2011 and features many Renaissance motets as well as the premier recording of the Christmas Carols of British composer, Tim Porter. This recording, “Music and Sweet Poetry,” is entirely comprised of the music by Matthew Harris. I discovered Matthew’s music in 2012 and immediately set to work on preparing to make an album of his fascinating music. I truly hope you enjoy it.
--Chris Munce, Artistic Director
Local media has already been vocal about Kantorei's crystal clear sound and innovative programming.
"...the performance was electric, exciting, and welcome respite from the usual fare ...offering a new vision for holiday choral concerts. I will not miss another Kantorei concert."
--Michael Austin, KCMetropolis
"Kantorei is one of the most focused groups in town with clear direction, clear programming, and pristine singing. Kantorei should be on your must-hear list!"
--Lee Hartman, KCMetropolis
"The groundswell of pure music from these beautiful voices is a rare treat."
--Mary Pechar, Lee's Summit Tribune
"In a city with more than its fair share of choirs, look for Kantorei to hold its own and shine through the masses." --Kristin Shafel, KCMetropolis
Now in only our third season Kantorei is already poised break into the national choral consciousness. We have recently agreed to a recording project of the music of Matthew Harris for London based Resonus Classics. Look for "Music and Sweet Poetry" to be released in 2014.