Chantelle Constable is a musician from Manhattan, Kansas – where she recently completed a turn as Fanny Brice in a MAC production of “Funny Girl!” – who describes herself as “not a girl with a guitar, or a girl with a piano, just a girl with a voice”, which roughly translates to her being a girl that can sing (she apparently sings a high C with some ease), play guitar, and play piano.
Her musical interests encompass a variety of genres, from traditional and modern classical to vocal jazz; she takes inspiration from a similarly eclectic mix of artists including Sinatra, Judy Garland, Joni Mitchell, Barbra Streisand, and even Charlotte Church, and being an American holds a close affinity to the work of Jack Kerouac.
She says her early interest in singing came from sitting on her grandfather’s knee as he sang “The Wabash Cannonball”, in her hometown of Blue Rapids, Kansas. At the age of five she began learning the piano, and at ten she joined the Columbian Youth Choir in Wamego, Kansas, before beginning vocal lessons at twelve. An experienced chorister she has also performed with the Flint Hills Masterworks Chorale, the “Side by Side” Summer Chorus, and the Kansas State University Women’s Glee Club. Besides that, as well as performing in a recent performance of “Funny Girl!” she has also landed roles in Kansas State University’s production of a scene from Donizetti’s “Elixir of Love”, and Columbian Theatre’s “West Side Story”.
Press Reveiws for Funny Girl:
She certainly captures the very soul and being of Fanny with her amusing antics and fantastic funny charms and will most surely sing and dance her way into your heart. - The Hype Weekly
As Fanny, Chantelle Constable is unsinkably, unstoppably splendid... Every line, every move, every note, she's there lighting it up. - Manhattan Mercury
But her music speaks for itself, already an accomplished singer and musical-theatre performer, she recently became the lead vocalist for Kansas Prog-Rock band “Lithus” – who said Prog. was dead? – and with its drummer formed the rising duo “Hotel Gypsies”, demonstrating an admirable desire to see the old styles (both modern and traditional) revived and brought to a younger audience.
When it comes to the actual creation of music she takes an intolerably Arts & Crafts attitude, believing the process of creating music an art to be enjoyed as much as its final outcome. Thankfully, the final product is far less socialist and more often than nothing short of excellent.
Prone to whimsical thoughts of travel and the open road, not without pretention (she describes The Hotel Gypsies as “hobo-folk noir”), but ultimately voraciously talented – Chantelle Constable is quickly becoming one to watch on the Kansas music scene, and may soon be challenging for a place in the national music business.
-- by GT Bunbury