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September 29, 2009
Thieves leave Chanticleer singing the blues


Thieves brought new meaning to vocal ensemble Chanticleer's "Songs of Love & Loss, War & Peace" concert at St. Francis Church.

The Sunday performance began on schedule at 5 p.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Church, 1066 26th St. However, just before intermission, it was discovered that the sacristy, which served as a dressing room for the singers, had been burglarized.

Sacramento Police spokesman Sgt. Norm Leong said police were called at 5:33 p.m. Sunday to the K street entrance of the church. As of Tuesday, he said, there are no leads in the burglary.

Taken were six backpacks, rental car keys, house keys, wallets, phones music, and egg shakers that were to be used for a work by Bay Area composer Mason Bates, said Brenda Hughes, spokesperson for Chanticleer.

"It was a clearly a grab and run," said Curt Hancock, director of operations, touring & merchandise for the group. "Someone clearly knew what was going on and they clearly knew that people would not be in there."

This is the third time that the group has performed at the church.

"We've run into some minor things there before, but we run into that everywhere... like when we go down to San Luis Obispo at the Mission, or to Petaluma. Anytime you are in a church in any California town or city - chances are you will run into that," he said.

Hancock said that the incident will not affect the group's desire to perform at the church again.

"We feel that Sacramento is a place we want to be at. We have a loyal fan base there, we love the acoustics at the church, and the people at the church are great to work with," said Hancock.

But when they return, it will be with an eye toward more security.

"We will have to look at the way we handle that space," he said. "But that also goes for every other space we perform in."

For the ensemble, the most difficult part of the theft is that the 12 singers are scheduled to leave on a national tour today.

"So yesterday, for them, was spent dealing with going to the DMV... which is the last thing you want to do on your day off," Hancock said,

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