Performing Ensembles

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

Folk Fiddler Sara Pajunen Invites You to a Welcome Christmas Alight with Nordic Theme and Premieres

Sara Pajunen, who describes herself in this video as a “violinist and fiddler of Finnish-American ancestry,” shares why she is excited to be part of the upcoming Welcome Christmas concerts. It should come as no surprise, since the program celebrates Scandinavian and Nordic yuletide traditions with carols from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. You can…  Read More

Youthful Excellence: Francisco J. Núñez and the Young People’s Chorus of New York City® Will Engage Twin Cities on Many Levels

You may have seen them on national television—“From the Top at Carnegie Hall,” NBC’s Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting, and “Good Morning America” for starters. And their founder and conductor, MacArthur “genius” Fellow Francisco J. Núñez, was recently profiled on Fox & Friends and interviewed on a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Art Works Media…  Read More

Ensemble Singers Wow–and Are Wowed!–on Asia Pacific Tour

On their most recent international tour, the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers traveled to Seoul, South Korea, to attend the 10th World Symposium on Choral Music as part of the VocalEssence Asia Pacific Tour, August 9 – 13. In Seoul they performed for an audience of 7,500 at the Nyungsung Presbyterian Church service, singing “Amazing Grace” with…  Read More