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Many singers perform in front of an audience in the ornate sanctuary of the Cathedral of Saint Paul that features a baldachin with black and gold marble columns that has a bronze latticework canopy. Photo Credit: Bruce Silcox

CONCERT: Voices for a Cathedral

Apr 4, 2025 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Let the engaging sounds of music by Scottish composer and conductor Sir James MacMillan captivate you. MacMillan’s music draws from his Scottish heritage, strong Catholic faith, and social conscience, and is influenced by Celtic folk music as well as Far Eastern, Scandinavian, and Eastern European music. Hear 7 Twin Cities church choirs join forces to…

VocalEssence 2024-2025 Season

Jun 24, 2024 @ 8:00 am - May 24, 2025 @ 5:00 pm

Seasons of Song Join VocalEssence as we celebrate 56 seasons of singing together. From a performance of the musical journey of Swedish immigrants brought to life by the legendary ABBA songwriters Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, and collaborations with the Bach Society of Minnesota and Northrop, to a week-long festival featuring the music of world-renowned…

2024-2025 Season Press Photos

To Download: Click on the image in the gallery below and a high resolution version will appear for download. For press/promotional use related to VocalEssence events only.

Philip Brunelle, conductor, looks into the camera smiling with his hands open and near his face. Photo Credit: Anna Min

Concert: Philip’s Favorites II, May 4

May 4, 2025 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

“Incredible music flawlessly presented and deeply moving. I would come to a performance of Philip’s Additional Favorites every year.” —Philip’s Favorites Audience Member Back by popular demand! VocalEssence Founder and Artistic Director Philip Brunelle has more favorite pieces—along with the stories behind the music—from the past 56 years to share. Join the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers…

Philip Brunelle, conductor, looks into the camera smiling with his hands open and near his face. Photo Credit: Anna Min

Concert: Philip’s Favorites II, May 3

May 3, 2025 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

“Incredible music flawlessly presented and deeply moving. I would come to a performance of Philip’s Additional Favorites every year.” —Philip’s Favorites Audience Member Back by popular demand! VocalEssence Founder and Artistic Director Philip Brunelle has more favorite pieces—along with the stories behind the music—from the past 56 years to share. Join the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers…

Philip’s Favorites II

Two Performances Saturday, May 3, 2025 at 4 PM Larson Hall, American Swedish Institute 2600 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, MN Sunday, May 4, 2025 at 4 PM Larson Hall, American Swedish Institute 2600 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, MN “Incredible music flawlessly presented and deeply moving. I would come to a performance of Philip’s Additional Favorites every year.” —Philip’s Favorites…

The sun and its rays shine beams of light through clouds breaking into blue sky above the sun and an orange hued sky below. Photo Credit: Adobe Stock Image

CONCERT: Sacred Voices

Apr 6, 2025 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Sir James MacMillan is a world-renowned Scottish composer and conductor whose belief in the spiritual power of music is evident in all his works. Guided by his strong faith, his music creatively uses melody and dissonance to tell the story of the beauty—and challenging complexity—of life on earth. Join VocalEssence, the U of M University…

VocalEssence singers wearing black and multicolored stoles perform on stage for the annual WITNESS concert. Photo Credit: Kyndell Harkness

CONCERT: WITNESS: Eyes Still On the Prize

Feb 23, 2025 @ 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Be part of the journey to “keep your eyes on the prize and hold on” as you sing and experience the weaving together of stories that connect our past struggles to our present pursuit of an equitable future for all. VocalEssence joins forces with a collective of Twin Cities-based artists—actors, dancers, storytellers, and musicians—presenting songs…

A watercolor illustration of a group of people standing in brown and orange grasses holding hands and looking at a blue sky. Photo Credit: Adobe Stock Image

Concert: Mending the Sky

May 17, 2025 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Taking inspiration from a Chinese fable where a rip in the sky causes the earth to split open, this concert explores love and loss, life and death, and ultimately invites us to work towards transformation and reconciliation. Through the powerful combination of voice and percussion, the VocalEssence Chorus will perform movements from Orff’s Carmina Burana, and Brahms’s…

Bach’s Christmas Oratorio 2024

Two Performances Friday, December 13, 2024 at 7:30 PM St. Paul’s United Church of Christ 900 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul, MN Saturday, December 14, 2024 at 4 PM Westwood Lutheran Church 9001 Cedar Lake Rd, St. Louis Park, MN “Shout for joy!” Back by popular demand, the Bach Society of Minnesota and the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers renew…

The bottom half of a violin with sheet music, pine, and cranberries adorning the front of the fiddle on rustic wood background. Photo Credit: Adobe Stock Image

Concert: Bach’s Christmas Oratorio 2024, Dec 14

Dec 14 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

“Shout for joy!” Back by popular demand, the Bach Society of Minnesota and the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers renew their collaboration to tell one of the greatest musical Christmas stories of all time. Hear three cantatas from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratorio as well as Cantata 40, originally written for the second day of Christmas. Nearly…

The bottom half of a violin with sheet music, pine, and cranberries adorning the front of the fiddle on rustic wood background. Photo Credit: Adobe Stock Image

Concert: Bach’s Christmas Oratorio 2024, Dec 13

Dec 13 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

“Shout for joy!” Back by popular demand, the Bach Society of Minnesota and the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers renew their collaboration to tell one of the greatest musical Christmas stories of all time. Hear three cantatas from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratorio as well as Cantata 40, originally written for the second day of Christmas. Nearly…

Welcome Christmas 2024

Two Performances Saturday, December 7, 2024 at 4 PM Northrop 84 Church St SE, Minneapolis, MN Sunday, December 8, 2024 at 4 PM Northrop 84 Church St SE, Minneapolis, MN Forget the hustle and bustle—take time to experience the wonder and joy of the season as VocalEssence returns to the magnificent Northrop stage to welcome Christmas in song. Immerse…

VocalEssence singers holding black folders and wearing black with colorful scarves perform at Northrop. Photo Credit: Anna Min

Concert: Welcome Christmas 2024, Dec 8

Dec 8 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Forget the hustle and bustle—take time to experience the wonder and joy of the season as VocalEssence returns to the magnificent Northrop stage to welcome Christmas in song. Immerse yourself in new and familiar favorites featuring all four VocalEssence ensembles singing together. Mix in harp, brass, percussion, and Northrop’s spectacular Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ, plus our special ingredient—your…

VocalEssence singers holding black folders and wearing black with colorful scarves perform at Northrop. Photo Credit: Anna Min

Concert: Welcome Christmas 2024, Dec 7

Dec 7 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Forget the hustle and bustle—take time to experience the wonder and joy of the season as VocalEssence returns to the magnificent Northrop stage to welcome Christmas in song. Immerse yourself in new and familiar favorites featuring all four VocalEssence ensembles singing together. Mix in harp, brass, percussion, and Northrop’s spectacular Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ, plus our special ingredient—your…