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8 of the best holiday shows this season in the Twin Cities area

By Star Tribune staff Star Tribune | November 12, 2021 These popular shows are back. MINNESOTA DANCE THEATRE “Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy” ‘Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy’ The return to holiday show traditions after a year without them wouldn’t be complete without this classic. Performed in the ornate grandness of the State Theatre, the Minnesota…  Read More

Composers Datebook: “Welcome Christmas” Carol Contest

By John Birge | Your Classical Published: Sunday, December 6 “Welcome Christmas” Carol Contest Synopsis On today’s date in 1998, two brand-new Christmas carols debuted in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during the “Welcome Christmas” choral concert of VocalEssence conducted by Philip Brunelle. The two carols, “Sweet Noel” by Joan Griffith and “The Virgin’s Cradle Hymn” by Richard…  Read More

Postcards from Mexico-Day 1

SUNDAY 8/25/2019 Estamos Aqui!   An early morning saw most of us clutching our coffee cups at Terminal 1, but the TSA check wasn’t quite as ugly as we’d feared. Our direct flight was a godsend, and four hours later, we came through the clouds and were greeted by the misty blue mountains that watch…  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 VocalEssence to Stomp and Sing Through 2013-14 Season

Posted on March 9, 2013 by VocalEssence has planned a varied and challenging 45th season. “One would think it would be a challenge to keep things fresh after more than four decades — but we find the contrary to be true,” Philip Brunelle, founder of VocalEssence, said in a written statement. “The mission of…  Read More