Chantry has enchanted Washington area audiences since its founding in 2001. The Washington Post has hailed Chantry’s “edge-of-seat vitality,”"vast expressive capacity and deeply ingrained sense of style," "nuance and lyricism," and "gut-level understanding of the idiom" of early music, and lauded its presentation of “exceptionally interesting and moving music.” Reviewing Chantry's June 2019 performance of Renaissance polyphony, Washington Classical Review said Chantry "sings this music extremely well," with pieces "crystalline in structure and balance," sound with "a virtuosic sheen," and singing with "delightful rhythmic alacrity." According to All Arts Review, “Chantry is one of the musical glories of Washington.”
Chantry’s 8-16 professional early music voices are dedicated to fresh, vibrant, historically informed performance of neglected masterpieces of Renaissance polyphony and music of the Baroque era. Chantry has performed with major early music ensembles including Hesperus Viols, Piffaro, Modern Musick, and the Bach Sinfonia, and was featured in the inaugural concert of the Washington Early Music Festival. The name "Chantry" comes from the old French chanterie ("to sing"). In medieval and Renaissance times, a "chantry" was a chapel (often a small chapel inside a large cathedral) dedicated to the singing of masses for someone's soul.
David Taylor, Chantry's Founder and Music Director, holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in choral literature and performance from the University of Colorado, a Master of Music degree in conducting from the University of Maryland, where he studied with Paul Traver, and a Bachelor of Music degree in organ from Andrews University. Dr. Taylor founded the chamber choir Musicorum of Mankato, MN, spent 15 years as a college choral director, was a member of the Choir of Men and Boys of Washington Cathedral under Paul Callaway, has served as organist-choirmaster for numerous churches since beginning his church music career at age 13, and made his conducting debut with the Battle Creek Academy Band at age 5. Chantry sings its repertoire from performing editions prepared by Dr. Taylor. In addition to his career in music, Dr. Taylor holds a J.D. degree from the University of Missouri (with third year study at the University of Minnesota), and is Associate Director in the Division of Market Oversight at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, where he leads staff conducting oversight of derivatives exchange cybersecurity.