Performing Ensembles

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

Sanford Moore receives VocalEssence Reatha Clark King Award

Congratulations to pianist, composer, arranger and producer Sanford Moore, who received the Reatha Clark King Award on Sunday, February 8 at the VocalEssence WITNESS: Let Freedom Ring concert at Orchestra Hall and was presented with a one-of-a-kind work of art created by past WITNESS Teaching Artist Ta-Coumba Aiken.  The Reatha Clark King Award for Excellence…  Read More

Videos featuring Dessa with VocalEssence have national debut

Two videos featuring hip-hop artist Dessa performing with VocalEssence at the Made in Minnesota concert in October have debuted on the National Public Radio website. “Skeleton Key” was written by Dessa, and “The Good Fight” was written by Dessa and Andy Thompson; both were conducted by Tesfa Wondemagegnehu. “When Dessa reworks her songs with the…  Read More

REVIEW: Welcome Christmas new work and traditional carols are ‘highlights of the Christmas choral season’

If you are wondering what you missed during the first weekend of Welcome Christmas concerts, these two reviews will fill you in and inspire you to attend one of this weekend’s performances. “The highlight of this holiday season’s choral concerts will likely be A Light in the Stable, by English composer Alan Bullard, written expressly…  Read More