In this Musical Moment, VocalEssence artistic director and founder Philip Brunelle shares insider information and beautiful music by the composer Melanie DeMore.
Prolific African-American composer Melanie DeMore was born in the Bronx, raised in Anchorage, and moved to San Antonio to complete her schooling. “Getting off,” as DeMore calls it, on being the only Black folk singer in Taos, N.M, she later decided to move to Oakland where she currently lives. Every town Melanie traveled to became her teacher and an opportunity to hone her craft as a songwriter, troubadour, and an emissary of tolerance, kindness, and harmony through the sound of her golden voice. Her music draws from the African American diasporic tradition and has been recorded and sold across the United States. DeMore was a founding member of the Grammy-nominated vocal ensemble Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir and notes that she is constantly amazed by her life. But nothing is closer to her heart than bringing people together wherever she is to experience the healing power of music. Whether performing solo, leading stick pounding workshops, doing residencies with choirs all over the country, or teaching Sound Awareness to sixth graders, baby boomers, or senior citizens, one thing is certain: her mission is to make sure you unlock the key to experiencing yourself in all your Glory and return home with the very same excitement and passion for living that she has.
Suggested Choral Pieces: