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In loving memory of Sigrid Johnson (1952—2022)

So many thoughts fill my mind thinking of dear Sigrid, affectionately known to all singers as “Ears Johnson” for she truly had the most amazing way of discerning the sound of each individual voice. For 24 years at VocalEssence she was my colleague, my musical conscience, a joyful supporter for a great realm of music,…

VocalEssence Associate Conductor Sigrid Johnson announces retirement

CONTACT: Mary Ann Aufderheide 612-547-1454  VOCALESSENCE ASSOCIATE CONDUCTOR ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT Sigrid Johnson steps down at end of 2014-2015 Season MINNEAPOLIS—February 23, 2015—VocalEssence, one of the world’s premier choral music organizations, announces today that its long-time associate conductor, Sigrid Johnson, will be retiring from the organization at the end of the 2014-2015 season. Johnson has…  Read More

VocalEssence sounds festive at 50th anniversary concert

by Terry Blain October 8, 2018: Review: A high-energy anniversary concert revisited the ensemble’s greatest hits. In the beginning, there was Aaron Copland. Fifty years ago, Philip Brunelle invited the iconic American composer to conduct his newly formed choir at Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis. The great composer accepted. And the rest, as they say, is…  Read More

In Honor of the VocalEssence 50th Anniversary by Catherine Dehoney, President of Chorus America

I’m Catherine Dehoney, President of Chorus America, the research, professional development, and advocacy organization for choruses in North America. Philip asked me to keep my remarks “short and profound, like the Gettysburg Address”.  I’m not sure I can achieve ‘profound’, so I’ll try for ‘short’! Two score and 10 years ago, Philip Brunelle brought forth…  Read More

VocalEssence Announces New Associate Conductor

CONTACT: Jennifer Weismann 612-716-0556 VOCALESSENCE ANNOUNCES NEW ASSOCIATE CONDUCTOR Phillip Shoultz III takes on novel leadership role as the choral group’s first full-time Associate Conductor MINNEAPOLIS—May 19, 2015— VocalEssence, the Minneapolis-based choral organization, has selected G. Phillip Shoultz III as its new Associate Conductor—a newly created full-time position. He replaces part-time VocalEssence Associate Conductor…  Read More

VocalEssence Announces New Full-Time Associate Conductor

We are very excited and honored to announce today a wonderful addition to our VocalEssence team. G. Phillip Shoultz, III will be joining Philip Brunelle as the new full-time Associate Conductor of VocalEssence this July. This is an expanded position with our organization, one that we hope will have far-reaching impact on both VocalEssence and…  Read More

VocalEssence goes local for season opener of heavy hitters

CONTACT: Jennifer Weismann 612-716-0556 HAIL! MINNESOTA, LAND OF 10,000 LAKES, CHOIRS — AND COMPOSERS VocalEssence opens 46th season with Made in Minnesota, including premiere from hip hop artist Dessa and debut of Dominick Argento’s latest opus MINNEAPOLIS—August 20, 2014—Minneapolis-based choral ensemble VocalEssence is going local for its 46th season opener Made in Minnesota, a concert…  Read More

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 VocalEssence. Board Officers Carolina Gustafson, President Program Manager, Institute for Advanced Study, University of Minnesota David Myers, Past-President Consulting Head for Music Programs, Augsburg University Torrie…  Read More

2014-2015 Announcement: VocalEssence Brings It Home for 46th Season

CONTACT: Jennifer Weismann 612-716-0556 Twin Cities choral organization announces season of fresh collaborations, including choral premiere from hip hop artist Dessa — and a tribute to P.D.Q. Bach MINNEAPOLIS — March 21, 2014 —Acclaimed Minneapolis-based choral ensemble VocalEssence — recognized internationally for its innovative explorations of music — announces a captivating 46th season of concerts.…  Read More

Singers posing on stage

The Mendelssohns Digital Concert Program

FEATURING: VocalEssence Chorus VocalEssence Ensemble Singers VocalEssence Singers Of This Age Nicholas Chalmers, tenor Maria Jette, soprano High School Festival Choir featuring singers from: Albert Lea High School, Diane Heaney, director Robbinsdale-Armstrong High School, Stephanie Trump & Corey Cellurale, directors St . Michael Albertville High School, Joe Osowski & Paige Armstrong, directors Mary Jo Gothmann,…


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…

Eric Whitacre Extravaganza — Live Concert Recording

Please note: This is a download card, not a CD. Hear the world premiere of Eric Whitacre’s Nox Aurumque on this uniqute live recording of the complete “Eric Whitacre Extravaganza” concert. Choral superstar Eric Whitacre conducts the VocalEssence Chorus and Ensemble Singers, joined by The St. Olaf Choir and the 160-voice Minnesota Honors Choir, in…  Read More