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Meet Our 2015 Welcome Christmas Carol Contest Winners

VocalEssence and the American Composers Forum are pleased to announce the two winning composers of their 18th annual Welcome Christmas Carol Contest. This year, the contest sought new carols for SATB Chorus and trumpet in B-flat or C. Carols composed by Josh Bauder and Laura Caviani, both of Minnesota, were selected from a total of…  Read More

DONOR SPOTLIGHT: Judy Drobeck Is Paying It Forward

For just about as long she can remember, Judy Drobeck has been singing. It started as it does for many children, “singing rounds and part songs with my family as we rode in the car or did the dishes—as early as 2 or 3 years old,” according to Judy. “My older sisters had learned some…  Read More

G. Phillip Shoultz, III

Associate Artistic Director phone 612-547-1453 fax 612-547-1484 gps@vocalessence.org Known for fostering community and inspiring action among people of all ages and abilities, G. Phillip Shoultz, III, enjoys a multifaceted career as artist, educator, consultant, speaker and pastoral musician. Phillip is the associate artistic director of VocalEssence where his most visible impact is seen through his…  Read More

VocalEssence Welcomes Six New Board Members

CONTACT: Katrina Wallmeyer 612-547-1472 katrina@vocalessence.org VOCALESSENCE WELCOMES SIX NEW BOARD MEMBERS MINNEAPOLIS — March 18, 2015 — Minneapolis-based choral ensemble VocalEssence announced today that six new members have joined its Board of Directors – Ann Farrell, Joe Kalkman, Alfred Moore, David Myers, Timothy C. Takach, and Dorene Tebbe Wernke. All six new board members have…  Read More

Thank you for joining us on Arts Advocacy Day; voice your support for music education

On Arts Advocacy Day, February 19, VocalEssence staff members gathered with like-minded art lovers and shared with legislators the importance of the arts to our lives, communities and economy. Senator Bill Weber from southwestern Minnesota was one of many legislators visited by arts advocates including Katrina Wallmeyer, director of development and communications at VocalEssence, pictured…  Read More

Composer Mentors

Libby Larsen Libby Larsen (b. 24 December 1950, Wilmington, Delaware) is one of America’s most performed living composers.  She has created a catalogue of over 500 works spanning virtually every genre from intimate vocal and chamber music to massive orchestral works and more than 15 operas. Libby is a Grammy Award-winner and is widely recorded,…  Read More

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

Dance Like the Wind: Music of Today’s Black Composers

Thought-provoking and moving music by eight modern composers spans the range of expression from solo cello to chorus, from jazz ensemble to woodwind quintet. Anthony Elliott, cello; Yolanda Williams, Dan Dressen, Maria Jette, soloists; VocalEssence Ensemble Singers and Chorus with orchestra; Philip Brunelle, conductor. “Beautifully sung with fine choral balance.” —Gramophone

What a Mighty God: Spirituals and Gospels for Chorus

Stirring spirituals and rousing gospel melodies sung by a superb chorus. VocalEssence Ensemble Singers and Chorus with orchestra and jazz band; special guests Moore by Four; Philip Brunelle, conductor “Flawless choral singing, presented with a genuine feeling of compassion and warmth.” — BBC Music Magazine

Over the River and Through the Woods

VocalEssence, Garrison Keillor and The Hopeful Gospel Quartet On November 23, 2004, the Hopeful Gospel Quartet — Garrison Keillor, Mollie O’Brien and Robin & Linda Williams — traded musical moments with the VocalEssence Chorus and Ensemble Singers in a concert at Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. The evening seamlessly blended American folk traditions with choral masterpieces old…  Read More

Behold This Heavenly Night

VocalEssence Chorus & Ensemble Singers Philip Brunelle, conductor In 1998, VocalEssence and the American Composers Forum joined forces to offer an annual contest encouraging the composition of new carols. Over the years hundreds of worthy carols have been submitted. “Behold This Heavenly Night” presents the world premiere of some of these contest-winning carols alongside outstanding arrangements…  Read More