Performing Ensembles

Postcards from Mexico-Day 7

SATURDAY 8/31/2019 JOY AND WORK   Our day free, some of us went to the Zocalo, the city center, to see the Indigenous Festival; others went to a nearby shopping center to eat at the churro stand recommended by the president of the Orquesta de Mineria. Some of us went to Six Flags to ride…  Read More

Postcards from Mexico-Day 6

FRIDAY 8/30/2019 A THOUSAND SMALL MOMENTS   All week, I’ve been thinking about how to capture the connections we’ve made together, the new, raw friendships that make us buzzy, exhausted, and grateful.  I believe firmly in the broad brushstrokes of VocalEssence’s motto “Together We Sing.” Yes, world peace is possible when we raise our voices collectively in song.  Yes, in music, our…  Read More

Postcards from Mexico-Day 5

THURSDAY 8/29/2019 COLORES   It is such a pleasure to sing with the Coro and Orquesta de Mineria. For starters, they are kind and warm and hilarious. But also, the colors in their voices. Tonight, I asked my seatmate Roxanne if she heard a difference in the vocal colors of the American and Mexican singers.…  Read More

Postcards from Mexico-Day 4

WEDNESDAY 8/28/2019 WHAT LASTS   “¿Listos?” Maestro Prieto said. He spoke in both English and Spanish, often switching mid-sentence. “¡Coro! No anxiety, sin ansiedad, about an early ‘s’, por un ‘s’ temprano, on the word ‘agnus.’” His speech was quick, and his gestures animated.  Giving direction to the basses, he said, “You sing like…” He…  Read More

Postcards from Mexico-Day 3

TUESDAY 8/27/2019 Hands   We each went our own ways this morning and early afternoon. Some visited Frieda Kahlo’s house Casa Azul, some the Museo Nacional de Antropología, and some Castillo de Chapultepec. There is no end to the beauty and wonders of Mexico City. At 3:30 we put on our concert clothes and piled…  Read More

Postcards from Mexico-Day 2

MONDAY 8/27/2019 On Singing Softly   Six hours of painstaking rehearsal notes with our Mexican Coro de Mineria friends on the Verdi Requiem: we are exhausted, but happy. As all 80+ singers crammed together, we sat literally shoulder to shoulder. “I hope you enjoy being close,” Philip said after we greeted one another warmly. “Because…  Read More

Postcards from Mexico-Day 1

SUNDAY 8/25/2019 Estamos Aqui!   An early morning saw most of us clutching our coffee cups at Terminal 1, but the TSA check wasn’t quite as ugly as we’d feared. Our direct flight was a godsend, and four hours later, we came through the clouds and were greeted by the misty blue mountains that watch…  Read More

Where in the World are the Conductors – August 2019

The end of July found artistic director Philip Brunelle in Hong Kong, where the Hong Kong Children’s Choir celebrated its 50th anniversary and the 50th anniversary of VocalEssence. He also found time to stop in London and Gloucester for the Three Choirs Festival, where he enjoyed a Bob Chilcott premiere, and met with composer James…  Read More

Follow our Mexico Trip via our “Postcards from Mexico” Correspondents

Tag along with the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers as they head to Mexico, August 25-September 2, by checking in with the VocalEssence Facebook page where our “Postcards from Mexico” correspondents will be sharing updates and running a fun trivia challenge. Every day, alto (and writer) Anna George Meek and production manager Ethan Johnson will provide an…  Read More

VESOTA Wins Chorus America Education Award

April brought a huge thrill as Chorus America recognized VocalEssence with its 2019 Education and Community Engagement Award for our youth choral program, VocalEssence Singers Of This Age (VESOTA).  Chorus America is a prominent advocacy organization for our nation’s choral groups, and its Education and Community Engagement Award recognizes the best emerging program (less than…  Read More

Where in the World are the Conductors – July 2019

In his “wonderful and busy” June and July, Artistic Director Philip Brunelle has been making music with old friends and new.  He returned to the podium to conduct the Lake Harriet Pops Orchestra, a post he held for 10 seasons, and filled the air outside the Lake Harriet Bandshell with the music of Bernstein and…  Read More

Where in the World are the Conductors – June 2019

Artistic Director Philip Brunelle just returned from England meeting with John Rutter, Sir Stephen Cleobury (just knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours), Simon Halsey and Katie Rowan—the person helping us with the U.S. premiere in October of Ina Boyle’s music. He and his wife Carolyn also enjoyed a week’s vacation in Wales and on the…  Read More

Where in the World are the Conductors – May 2019

For Artistic Director Philip Brunelle, the end of the concert season with our Bob Dylan tribute was a festive conclusion to season 50! Now we are in the midst of finalizing plans for season 51 and beyond. The month of May is also filled with auditions – about 50 hours’ worth. Each year those in…  Read More

Candide Questions Answered

Thank you to the 262 people who took the Candide Survey. The VocalEssence staff analyzes the results and uses the information to plan for better performances in the future. Below is a summary of the results. 40% of attendees were attending their very first VocalEssence event, and 26% of respondents attended VocalEssence concerts more than…  Read More

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