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Philip Brunelle featured in Choral Journal

Philip Brunelle began Musical Moments as a way to connect and bring joy to people during the pandemic, but now the catalog of composers and their works will be shared broadly through the American Choral Directors Association’s Choral Journal. Click the link below to read the article OR explore the collection of Musical Moments. Read the Article Explore…  Read More

VocalEssence logo, Singing the World Awake, and 2022-2023 Season on an orange background

2022-2023 Season

Singing the world awake Join VocalEssence for our 2022-2023 Season as we explore the power of singing. From familiar favorites to new standards, this season is sure to reawaken the joy that singing brings to all of us. Hear the centuries-old Montserrat Boy Choir from Spain in concert in the Midwest for the first time,…

Singers posing on stage

Choosing Love Concert Program

The Program  VocalEssence Singers Of This Age G. Phillip Shoultz, III, conductor, piano Sam Reeves, keyboard Brian Kendrick, drums Choosing Love is a collaboratively curated concert experience developed through a season of continuous learning and conversation. The VocalEssence Singers Of This Age challenge us to grapple with the past and present injustices plaguing our society…

Satan falling with clouds and beams of light

Satan’s Fall Biographies

Jamie Chamberlain, soprano Praised for her “shimmering tones” and “star­ struck vulnerability” by Opera News, Greek-­American Soprano Jamie Chamberlin is recognized for her versatility as both a singer and as an actress. ArtsInLA hailed her role debut as Cunegonde in Long Beach Operaʼs Candide as “jaw­dropping”. Most recently at LBO, Ms. Chamberlin earned rave reviews for her…

A Ukrainian Prayer

There are times where it is difficult to know how to respond to tragedy. On the evening of Ash Wednesday, composer John Rutter heard Valentin Silvestrov’s choral setting of the following text, “Good Lord, protect Ukraine. Give her strength, courage, faith, hope. Amen.” He decided to use his talents to compose his own setting of…  Read More

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,…

Azure Anderson

Executive Assistant phone 612-547-1472 azure@vocalessence.org Azure Anderson joined the VocalEssence team in October 2021 as the Executive Assistant. Azure provides direct administrative support to VocalEssence leadership, facilitating the success of the artistic and administrative goals of the organization. She works with the Artistic Director, Associate Artistic Director, and Executive Director to ensure effective organization wide operation.…  Read More

“Ščedryk”, a Song for Ukraine

Our hearts are with the people of Ukraine. Please enjoy “Ščedryk”, a Ukrainian New Year’s carol by the Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovich, arranged by Philip Brunelle. This carol, traditionally sung on January 13, tells the story of a swallow flying into a house to sing of wealth that will come the following spring (you can hear the bird…  Read More

WITNESS: Rejoice! Young People’s Concert

Share your Voice Would you be willing to give us some quick feedback? To tell us how we did, click one of the buttons below. Student Survey                                                                                  Teacher…

VocalEssence Fast Facts

About VocalEssence Founded in 1969, as a music outreach program of Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis Incorporated as an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 1979 Annual Budget: $2 million Endowment/Artistic Advancement Fund: $6 million (established 1987) STAFF 10 full-time, 1 part-time, 3 contractors Executive Director: Mary Ann Aufderheide Artistic Director and Founder: Philip Brunelle Associate…

György Orbán | 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 György Orbán. György Orbán b. 1947 The Hungarian-Romanian composer György Orbán is best known for his vocal music employing avant-garde and neoclassic techniques. Born in 1947 in Marosvásárhely, he attended the Music Academy in Kolosvár…  Read More

Aaron Jay Kernis | 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 Aaron Jay Kernis. Aaron Jay Kernis b. 1960 Pulitzer Prize and Grammy-Award-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis is among the most esteemed musical figures of his generation. He began his musical studies on the violin; at…  Read More

Robert L. Morris | 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 Robert L. Morris Robert L. Morris b. 1941 Robert L. Morris, a well-published American composer and arranger, was Director of Choral Activities at Macalester. He holds degrees from DePaul University, Indiana University, and The University…  Read More

Abbie Betinis | 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 Abbie Betinis. Abbie Betinis b. 1980 The music of Abbie Betinis has been heard in some of the finest concert halls in the United States, and is enjoying growing acclaim abroad.  Praised for its melodic…  Read More