Performing Ensembles

Meet Our 2015 Welcome Christmas Carol Contest Winners

VocalEssence and the American Composers Forum are pleased to announce the two winning composers of their 18th annual Welcome Christmas Carol Contest. This year, the contest sought new carols for SATB Chorus and trumpet in B-flat or C. Carols composed by Josh Bauder and Laura Caviani, both of Minnesota, were selected from a total of…  Read More

From Reviews to Reflections, Powerful ‘Dreams of the Fallen’ Resonates Deeply

Exquisite, moving, and remarkable are words that have been used to describe the VocalEssence Dreams of the Fallen concert on Sunday, October 11 at the O’Shaughnessy, performed by the VocalEssence Chorus & Ensemble Singers, the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Jeffrey Biegel and Maria Jette, and featuring the Midwest premiere of Jake Runestad’s Dreams of the Fallen.…  Read More

Honoring Veterans’ Stories and Service with Veterans’ Voices Programs

VocalEssence has partnered with the Minnesota Humanities Center’s Veterans’ Voices Program, which draws on the power of the humanities to call attention to the stories and contributions of veterans. This initiative amplifies, honors and recognizes the stories and contributions of Minnesota veterans in their own voice through plays, art, discussion groups, and the Veterans’ Voices…  Read More

Composer Jake Runestad Invites You to Dreams of the Fallen

October is Veterans’ Voices Month, as proclaimed by the Minnesota Legislature in 2014, and VocalEssence will open our 47th Season on October 11 with Dreams of the Fallen, a tribute to U.S. military Veterans. Jake Runestad, whose monumental work with Iraq war Veteran and poet Brian Turner provides the centerpiece and title for the concert,…  Read More

VocalEssence Vintage Voices Participants Find New Program ‘Energizing,’ ‘Inclusive,’ ‘Validating’ and ‘Beautiful’

A new VocalEssence program is working wonders for senior singers and their communities! Vintage Voices, which integrates the arts into the lives of older adults by creating choirs in assisted living communities and senior centers, has inspired older adults at Ecumen Seasons at Maplewood (shown above in their spring concert video), Sabathani Community Center Senior…  Read More

River Songs and Tales with Mark Twain: Alexandria Tour Delights Onstage and Off

From the full houses for six performances June 23-28, 2015, to relaxation on the water and community engagement, the River Songs and Tales with Mark Twain: Alexandria Tour offered the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers a wonderful time in residence at Theatre L’Homme Dieu in Alexandria, Minnesota. The Star Tribune published an in-depth article on the theater…  Read More

Ensemble Singers Engage at Lyngblomsten Mid-Summer Festival

Members of the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers and Magnum Chorum, led by guest conductor Mark Stover, artistic director of Magnum Chorum, engaged the audience with  “Blessed Assurance” during the sing-along portion of their performance at Lyngblomsten Mid-Summer Festival in St. Paul on Saturday, July 11, 2015.  The performance and sing-along of hymns, spirituals and choral classics…  Read More

VocalEssence Rocks TCF with the Rolling Stones

VocalEssence performed with the Rolling Stones on stage during their one-night-only performance June 3 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, a stop on the 15-city North American ZIP CODE Tour. VocalEssence Artistic Director and Founder Philip Brunelle and Associate Conductor Phillip Shoultz both conducted. “It was an amazing experience,” Philip Brunelle told MPR News, when…  Read More

‘The Radio Hour’ Video Gets National Debut

The VocalEssence production of The Radio Hour snagged a national debut in May on American Public Media’s YourClassical.org. Whether you missed the Midwest premiere performance in March or want to enjoy it all over again, take a look at this video of the 40-minute choral opera by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer. The VocalEssence…  Read More

VocalEssence Vintage Voices Choir Concerts Are a Big Success

After 12 weeks of rehearsals, the VocalEssence Vintage Voices choirs at Sabathani Community Center Senior Center (shown in the video above), Open Circle at Heritage Park Senior Services Center and Ecumen Seasons at Maplewood performed concerts at their respective locations; the concerts were free and open to the public with a reception following. All were…  Read More