posted January 7, 2013

GPS to Feature Suspicious Cheese Lords Early Music Vocal Ensemble

The Hope College Great Performance Series will present the Suspicious Cheese Lords on Friday, Jan. 18, at 7:30 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.

The Suspicious Cheese Lords is an all-male a capella ensemble focusing on the music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

The “Washington Post” has praised hearing the group as “A mind expanding experience.”

The ensemble, based in Washington, D.C., seeks to broaden the global repertoire and listenership of choral music by unearthing forgotten works, breathing new life into familiar pieces, and supporting emerging composers. Specializing in early music, the unique brotherhood’s concerts, liturgies, recordings and educational programs provide a scholarly yet accessible interpretation of music of all eras, inspiring fans and future musicians alike.

Joseph McLellan of the “Washington Post” said, “The Cheese Lords… sang with an ensemble precision and a sensitivity to the music’s varied styles as impressive as their imagination in programming.”

Hope College alumnus Dan Ebeling, who graduated from the college in 2004 with a major in vocal music education, has been performing with the group since 2004 and will be singing as a countertenor at the performance.

The group’s name shows the members’ sense of humor, yet they take their music seriously. The Suspicious Cheese Lords’ name is derived from the title of a Thomas Tallis motet, Suscipe quæso Domine. While “translating” the title, it was observed that Suscipe could be “suspicious,” quæso is close to the Spanish word queso meaning “cheese,” and Domine is “Lord.” Hence, the title of the motet was clearly “Suspicious Cheese Lord”—which in time became adopted as the group’s name. Although the name is humorous, the group appreciates the literal translation of Suscipe quæso Domine, which is, “Take, I ask, Lord.”

The name has also caused some trouble for them as they were renamed a “Sacred Music Ensemble” when they performed at a papal mass for Pope Benedict XVI in 2008.

From 1998 to 2006, the Cheese Lords served as the choir-in-residence for major services at the Franciscan Monastery in Washington, D.C. Additional services credits include the Cathedral of St. Matthew, Church of the Epiphany (G Street), the Church of the Holy Redeemer (Kensington, Md.) and Georgetown University’s Dahlgren Chapel.

Individual tickets are $18 for regular admission, $13 for senior citizens, and $6 for children 18 and under. Individual and season tickets are available at the ticket office in the main lobby of the DeVos Fieldhouse, which is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be called at (616) 395-7890. Tickets are also available online at tickets.hope.edu/ticketing/

The DeVos Fieldhouse is located at 222 Fairbanks Ave., between Ninth and 11th streets. Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located at 277 College Ave., on College Avenue at 12th Street.