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2022-2023 Supporters

VocalEssence is blessed to have so many committed supporters. Thank you for all that you do to keep our community singing! Although we make every effort to ensure that our Honor Roll list is accurate and complete, we are capable of error. Please let us know if your name does not appear the way you…

Healing Beats Sessions

“Telling our stories takes time and space.”—Healing Beats Session Participant “We are all connected. We are all ancestors.”—Healing Beats Session Participant Over the past few months VocalEssence held Healing Beats Sessions led by Melanie DeMore at five sites around the Twin Cities. Melanie DeMore has expertise in the traditions of the Gullah persons from the…

Philip Brunelle Featured on Connect the Dots

Choral music called … and Philip Brunelle answered “Connect the Dots” from Minnesota Now | February 20, 2024 Cathy Wurzer, Chris Farrell and Ellen Finn Philip Brunelle has done it all. Currently, he’s the founder and artistic director of VocalEssence. VocalEssence is based at the Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis. Brunelle has led the choir for 55 years. A…

Yellow and purple crocuses blooming in the grass. Photo Credit: Adobe Stock Image

OLLI CLASS: Hope Renewed

May 2 @ 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Founder and Artistic Director Philip Brunelle will present a class on hope and a look at the music that will be featured at Hope Renewed, the closing concert of the 55th Season. Composer Kyle Pederson will join to discuss his new composition that will be featured on the concert. In order to sign up for…  Read More

Philip Brunelle Shares 5 Facts on Minnesota Live

Philip Brunelle made an appearance on Minnesota Live on Thursday, February 1, 2024. Click the button below to watch Philip share 5 facts about himself and his musical career. Watch Now

VocalEssence Annual Report 2022-2023

In 2022-2023 VocalEssence completed an extended strategic planning process that included revised mission, vision, and values statements and new strategic imperatives to achieve the impact we wish to have in society. VocalEssence celebrates singing as an essential human expression. Artistic quality, passion for singing together, and reputation for engaging people are hallmarks of our impact.…

VocalEssence singers holding black folders performing at Northrop with brass and percussion players conducted by G. Phillip Shoultz, III. Photo Credit: Tony Nelson Photography

VocalEssence Holiday Programming 2023

VocalEssence has several opportunities to listen and watch over the holidays. Here are the ways you can enjoy VocalEssence programming: VocalEssence On Demand Enjoy inspiration on your schedule! This digital content is available whenever and wherever! View our digital releases-including the newly released highlights from Welcome Christmas 2023 at Northrop, the 2021-2022 Digital Season, single…

Where in the World Are the Conductors? October 2023

Philip Brunelle: The 55th VocalEssence season is in full swing and Philip Brunelle, VocalEssence Founder and Artistic Director, is delighted to be rehearsing music for the October 29 opening concert with the Ensemble Singers and the Chorus. In late August he spent 10 days in Brittany and then visited daughter Elise and family in Vermont…

VocalEssence Welcomes New Board Members

VocalEssence is thrilled to announce the addition of six new members to its Board of Directors. The VocalEssence Board of Directors serve as ambassadors for the organization in the larger community. They also guide VocalEssence in all major policy decisions while ensuring the financial stability of the 55-year-old nonprofit. “I’m delighted to welcome our new…

VocalEssence Gala 2024 logo with the words "Celebration of Song" and the event date and location in gold in front of a geometric colorful background. Design credit: Lora Joshi

VocalEssence Gala 2024

May 11 @ 5:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Save the date for the VocalEssence Gala: Celebration of Song on the evening of Saturday, May 11, 2024! Join us for an enchanting evening dedicated to celebrating the power of singing together. Immerse yourself in a world where melodies soar, hearts harmonize, and voices unite to create unforgettable moments. This event is a testament to…  Read More

Emma Jirele

Learning and Engagement Manager Emma Jirele joined the team at VocalEssence in the summer of 2023. As Learning and Engagement Manager, Emma provides operational leadership and logistical support to community and school initiatives, such as VocalEssence Singers Of This Age, WITNESS, the Longfellow School Program, and additional school partnerships. Emma was first exposed to…  Read More

Where in the World Are the Conductors? August 2023

Philip Brunelle: This month has been full of celebrations for Philip Brunelle, VocalEssence Founder and Artistic Director.  On August 14, the rain stopped and the clouds parted as 120 of Philip’s closest friends joined him in celebrating his 80th birthday at the home of Marilyn Carlson Nelson. It was a wonderful celebration of food, singing,…

Where in the World Are the Conductors? July 2023

Philip Brunelle: This month has been memorable in many ways for Philip Brunelle, VocalEssence Founder and Artistic Director. With the VERY successful completion of the Bridge to the Future campaign where we reached our $4.5 million goal, we celebrated with a reception at the home of Cay Shea on a beautiful June evening. Several days later…

Where in the World Are the Conductors? June 2023

Philip Brunelle: The past month has been another busy one for Philip Brunelle, VocalEssence Founder and Artistic Director.  This is the time for auditions for the Ensemble Singers as well as new singers for the Chorus–so many hours have been filled with this important task.  Putting the final touches on the 2023-2024 season (subscriptions are…