Performing Ensembles

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

VocalEssence Celebrates the American Composers Forum’s 40th Anniversary with Premiere of Arnesen’s ‘Child of Song’

Listen to the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers, conducted by Philip Brunelle, performing “Child of Song” by Kim André Arnesen, dedicated to the memory of Stephen Paulus. If you want to hear it live, they will premiere the piece tonight at the American Composers Forum 40th Anniversary Celebration. VocalEssence will also perform “Home” by Libby Larsen. The two…  Read More

Gather at the River with Mark Twain Performance and Raffle Raised Funds and Spirits

Saturday, May 2, 2015 was a beautiful day to be on the Mississippi River aboard the Minnesota Centennial Showboat, enjoying cocktails and appetizers on the Victorian Deck, followed by river songs and tales with Don Shelby as Mark Twain, fiddler Sara Pajunen, and the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers conducted by Tesfa Wondemagegnehu. Visit our Facebook album…  Read More

Gather at the River with Mark Twain—and Win Tickets to the Rolling Stones, Mill City Opera, the Wild and More

As if you didn’t already have enough great reasons to join us for the Gather at the River with Mark Twain fundraiser for VocalEssence music education programs on May 2, here are five more: The fabulous raffle prizes described below offer the winners another evening of top-tier entertainment—and four seasons of wine! So make plans…  Read More