Performing Ensembles

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

VocalEssence WITNESS: Yet They Persist Questions Answered

Thank you to the 150 people who took the VocalEssence WITNESS: Yet They Persist 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. 17% of attendees were attending their very first VocalEssence concert, and 44% of respondents attended…  Read More

Tales & Tunes Questions Answered

Thank you to the people who took the Tales & Tunes Survey. This is our first Tales & Tunes event, and we appreciate you taking the time to give us feedback. The VocalEssence staff analyzes the results and uses the information to plan for better performances in the future. Below is a summary of the…  Read More

Where in the World are the Conductors – April 2019

Following the amazing success of Candide, Artistic Director Philip Brunelle was in Mexico City for meetings about the Ensemble Singers next visit there in August 2019. He and his wife Carolyn also spent four days vacationing in Oaxaca (a rarity!). On Sunday, April 7 he will accompany the five Plymouth Church soloists in a concert as…  Read More

Dylan at the Palace Theatre

Artistic Director Philip Brunelle was interviewed about why VocalEssence chose to perform The Times They Are A-Changin’ at the Palace Theatre in Saint Paul. The Palace Theatre is not the first venue you think of when you think of a choir concert. Why did you choose to perform at the Palace? I always think about…  Read More

Old Adults Singing their Hearts Out This Spring

Minneapolis and Trillium Woods in Plymouth are busy learning and preparing music to perform at their upcoming spring concerts! This spring Rob added a new part of the program called “singer check-ins”, where each singer reserved a 10-minute time slot with Rob to test their vocal range and share any vocal health concerns they may…  Read More

Frozen Movie Sing-Along Questions Answered

Thank you to the 69 people who took the Frozen Movie Sing-Along Survey. This is our first family movie event, and we appreciate you taking the time to give us feedback. 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. 43%…  Read More

Where in the World are the Conductors – February 2019

Both Artistic Director and Founder Philip Brunelle and Associate Conductor G. Phillip Shoultz, III will be attending the national convention of ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) in Kansas City the last days of February. It is an important time for them to connect with colleagues and also to attend the premiere of Dr. André Thomas’…  Read More

Dominick Argento Remembered

Dominick Argento was an amazing man—he was my teacher, colleague and personal friend of our family. When I arrived at the University of Minnesota, I signed up for History of Opera, not knowing that I would have the best professor on opera as my teacher! I have often said that if you wish to take…  Read More

Welcome Christmas 2018 Questions Answered

Thank you to the 275 people who took the Welcome Christmas 2018 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. 23% of attendees were attending their very first VocalEssence concert, and 32% of respondents attended VocalEssence concerts…  Read More