Performing Ensembles

In Honor of the VocalEssence 50th Anniversary by Catherine Dehoney, President of Chorus America

I’m Catherine Dehoney, President of Chorus America, the research, professional development, and advocacy organization for choruses in North America. Philip asked me to keep my remarks “short and profound, like the Gettysburg Address”.  I’m not sure I can achieve ‘profound’, so I’ll try for ‘short’! Two score and 10 years ago, Philip Brunelle brought forth…  Read More

A Toast to 50 Years from Marilyn Carlson Nelson

And on the eighth day, God created VocalEssence, and it was good. So now, dear Philip, Carolyn, VocalEssence, it falls to me to end this magnificent celebration with a toast. A toast to 50 years of music that have unspooled before us at a dizzying speed tonight, beginning and ending with Aaron Copeland and The…  Read More

VocalEssence Mexico Tour is “Transformational”

VocalEssence has just returned from conducting some “choral diplomacy” in Mexico. The trip to Mexico City—from Aug. 26 to Sept. 3— was a historic one. For ten years, Philip Brunelle has been visiting Mexico to meet and audition composers willing to fly up to Minnesota multiple times during the school year for VocalEssence ¡Cantaré!, staying a…  Read More

Where in the World are the Conductors – September 2018

Artistic Director Philip Brunelle started the month of September by conducting the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers in Mexico City for an amazing week of concerts and workshops. They performed solo concerts and also joined 30 professional Mexican singers in concerts of Brahms and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Orquesta Symphonica de Minería. September is the month…  Read More

Viva México! VocalEssence Ensemble Singers Ready for Tour

Their bags are packed, and music is in hand for the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers and Artistic Director Philip Brunelle. Follow us on Facebook to hear the latest about the tour from our guide, and former VocalEssence ¡Cantaré! composer, Novelli Jurado. Below is their tour schedule. Learn more about their selection to the performances in this…  Read More

Where in the World are the Conductors – August 2018

Artistic Director Philip Brunelle has had a whirlwind summer (nothing unusual!) beginning in early June with a trip to New York City meeting with Nico Muhly, composer of the new cantata being written for our Welcome Christmas concerts. The visit also included meetings with several composers and interviews about the upcoming 50th anniversary season. Then…  Read More

2018 Welcome Christmas Carol Contest Composers Announced

VocalEssence is pleased to announce the following winners of the 21st annual VocalEssence Welcome Christmas Carol Contest. Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all who applied. Sponsored by the American Composers Forum and VocalEssence, the contest is open to composers of all ages, and this season composers were asked to write a carol…  Read More

VocalEssence Joins Iconic Mexican Symphony Orchestra for Beethoven and Brahms Performances

The VocalEssence Ensemble Singers have been invited to join the legendary Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería (OSM) in Mexico City from August 26 through September 2 for a cross-cultural celebration to mark the orchestra’s 40th anniversary and the 50th season of VocalEssence. VocalEssence will be performing with the Coro de la Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería and soloists…  Read More

Where in the World are the Conductors—May 2018

Artistic Director Philip Brunelle and Associate Conductor G. Phillip Shoultz, III have wrapped up the 49th concert subscription series, but have one concert left – celebrating the 10th Anniversary of our VocalEssence ¡Cantaré! Program. Join us for the celebration at The Ordway on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. The two are also beginning auditions—every year the members…  Read More

Vintage Voices Spring 2018

VocalEssence connects senior citizens with the social and mental health benefits of group singing through its Vintage Voices program. VocalEssence Vintage Voices meets seniors on their own turf, providing choral instruction at senior centers and residences. This spring, the program is sponsoring choirs at three different locations: Trillium Woods in Plymouth, Sabathani Senior Center in…  Read More

Interview with Philip Brunelle about John Rutter

In preparation for the Rutter Returns concert on Saturday, April 21, 2018, VocalEssence Artistic Director and Founder Philip Brunelle answered a few questions about John Rutter. When did you first learn about John Rutter (and his music)? I have always been curious about discovering composers new to me from all over the world. It was early in the…  Read More

Where in the World are the Conductors—April 2018

Spring holds so many incredible musical moments for the VocalEssence team, with new and old voices joining in! Associate Conductor G. Phillip Shoultz, III and his family are delighted to announce they welcomed a new member—Lydia Grace. Born on Wednesday, March 21 at 7:13 am, Lydia joins brother Malachi (4). Check out the VocalEssence Facebook…  Read More

VocalEssence kicked off Super Bowl Live with Idina Menzel

VocalEssence was thrilled to kick off Super Bowl Live on Friday, January 26, 2018 on Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis with guest artists Idina Menzel and Esera Tuaolo. Enjoy this clip of members of the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers performing a Minnesota medley for the crowd. Thank you to the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee for the…  Read More

Where in the World are the Conductors—January 2018

While the busy holiday season is behind them, the new year holds plenty of exciting projects for our in-demand conductors, Artistic Director Philip Brunelle and Associate Conductor G. Phillip Shoultz, III. Our Ensemble Singers are putting the final polish on their preparations for the Super Bowl LIVE kickoff concert. Philip Brunelle is leading them in…  Read More