VocalEssence WITNESS School Program

The VocalEssence WITNESS School Program is an exciting opportunity for Minnesota students and teachers to learn more about the contributions African Americans have made, and are making, to the fine arts.

In 2016-2017, songwriter and vocal activist Melanie DeMore returns to the Twin Cities to explore Minnesota as a place of sanctuary both during the time of the Underground Railroad and for refugees today. Underground Railroad “stations” in St. Paul were successful in providing sanctuary for countless slaves who had been stowaways on riverboats or escaped from visiting slave owners and transported safely to freedom in Canada. Minnesota honors that tradition today by providing sanctuary to more than 217,000 immigrants seeking refuge including Hmong, Russian, Liberians, Somalis, Iraqis and Bhutanese. This year’s program will illuminate the underrepresented stories of the Underground Railroad and refugees in Minnesota, and will tie them to African American heritage through the exploration and performance of songs of liberation and freedom. The Young People’s Concerts will feature the VocalEssence Chorus, along with singers from four Twin Cities’ middle and high schools.

Each partner school is able to take advantage of three program components that provide an enriching integrative experience for both students and teachers:

Artist Workshops
Young People’s Concerts
Teacher Resources

For more information about the school program, contact Robert Graham at robert@vocalessence.org, or 612-547-1458. To sign up as a VocalEssence WITNESS Partner School, read and submit the VocalEssence WITNESS School Agreement by clicking the sign-up link below.