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Kurt Weill | Musical Moments with Philip Brunelle

In this Musical Moment, VocalEssence artistic director and founder Philip Brunelle shares insider information and beautiful music by the composer Kurt Weill. Kurt Weill 1900-1950 The German composer Kurt Weill was one of the most versatile and influential composers of musical theatre in the twentieth century. Weill began his career in the early 1920s, after…  Read More

Sir Arthur Bliss | Musical Moments with Philip Brunelle

In this Musical Moment, VocalEssence artistic director and founder Philip Brunelle shares insider information and beautiful music by the composer Sir Arthur Bliss. Sir Arthur Bliss 1891-1975 Sir Arthur Bliss was one of the leading English composers of the first half of the 20th century, noted both for his early, experimental works and for his…  Read More

Susan LaBarr | Musical Moments with Philip Brunelle

In this Musical Moment, VocalEssence artistic director and founder Philip Brunelle shares insider information and beautiful music by the composer Susan LaBarr. Susan LaBarr b. 1981 Susan LaBarr is a leading American 21st-century choral composer. She attended Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Master…  Read More

Ann Lowe | Women’s History Month with GPS

It’s Wednesday and GPS is getting ready for another Wednesday edition of Take 5. Today he’ll be sharing about Wilma Rudolph, the first woman to win 3 gold medals at the Olympic Games. Our musical pairing is “Git On Board, Little Children,” a traditional Negro Spiritual. Learn More https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/wilma-rudolph https://www.biography.com/athlete/wilma-rudolph https://usopm.org/wilma-rudolph/ Sponsor Black Excellence Each…  Read More

Ann Lowe | Women’s History Month with GPS

On this Tuesday edition of Take 5, GPS highlights the contributions of Ann Lowe, first African American to be recognized as a fashion designer. Lowe’s one-of-a-kind designs were a favorite among high society matrons from the 1920s to the 1960s. Our musical pairing is “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson.…  Read More

Where in the World are the Conductors – March 2021

For Artistic Director and Founder Philip Brunelle, the month of March is for “Call of the North.” Having finished two full days of recording and videotaping at the IDS Crystal Court with the Ensemble Singers, the coming weeks will be devoted to editing sessions leading to the March 28 premiere at 4PM. At the same…  Read More

Dorothy Irene Height | Women’s History Month with GPS

On this Sunday edition of Take 5, GPS highlights the contributions of Dorothy Irene Height, whose organizational and operational skills were unmatched leading to her prominent role in the movement for Civil Rights and her opportunities to consult with US Presidents and First Ladies. We revisit the Black church for our musical inspiration as we…  Read More

Barbara Jordan | Women’s History Month with GPS

Today, GPS highlights the trailblazing career of Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, whose work as an activist and scholar paved the way for many woman that have followed her in public service. We revisit the inspirational and well-known Ben E. King song, “Stand By Me” for our musical inspiration. Learn More https://history.house.gov/People/Detail/16031 https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/barbara-jordan https://www.kff.org/about-barbara-jordan/ Sponsor Black Excellence…  Read More

Althea Gibson | Women’s History Month with GPS

We kick off our weekend with inspiration, song, and a time to recognize the contributions of Althea Gibson, a professional athlete who broke racial barriers in a variety of ways. The Supremes and “Got You Back in My Arms Again” will provide our musical inspiration. Learn More https://www.biography.com/athlete/althea-gibson https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/26/sports/tennis/althea-gibson-statue-us-open.html https://www.espn.com/sportscentury/features/00014035.html https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/althea-gibson-is-first-african-american-to-win-wimbledon Sponsor Black Excellence Each…  Read More

Bessie Coleman | Women’s History Month with GPS

Join GPS for another Thursday edition of Take 5 as he shares about pilot Bessie Coleman, 1st African American woman and first Native American to hold a pilot’s license. Our musical pairing is “Baby I Need Your Lovin’,” by Brian and Edward Holland Jr., Lamont Dozier, as performed by the Four Tops. Learn More https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/bessie-coleman…  Read More

Misty Copeland | Women’s History Month with GPS

On this Wednesday episode of Take 5 with GPS, we feature Misty Copeland, 1st African American to be named principal ballerina for the American Ballet Theatre. Our musical pairing is South African Anti-Apartheid Song, “We Shall Not Give Up the Fight.” Learn More https://mistycopeland.com/ https://www.abt.org/people/misty-copeland/ https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/misty%20copeland Sponsor Black Excellence Each episode and blog post take…  Read More

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At VocalEssence, we partner with a number of amazing specialists who bring our work to life. We encourage you to connect with them if you are interested in their services. We highly recommend all of them.

Mary McCleod Bethune | Women’s History Month with GPS

Join GPS for a Tuesday edition of Take 5, as he shares about educator and civil rights advocate Mary McCleod Bethune and sings a classic made popular by Marvin Gaye, “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” by Edward and Brian Holland, and Lamont Dozier. Learn More https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/mary-mcleod-bethune https://www.cookman.edu/about_BCU/history/our_founder.html https://www.nps.gov/mamc/learn/historyculture/mary-mcleod-bethune.htm https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/mary-mcleod-bethune-vanguard-more-than-50-years-black-progress-180975202/ Sponsor Black…  Read More

Fannie Lou Hamer | Women’s History Month with GPS

Start Monday off right with this edition of Take 5, where we honor the rich legacy of Black women in history with a look at the life of Fannie Lou Hamer, American Civil Rights Activist, Community Organizer, and Speaker. Our musical pairing is “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around,” traditional song from the Civil…  Read More