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VocalEssence to present ‘Witness’ times two; Joffrey Ballet to perform ‘Anna Karenina’

By Pamela Espeland MinnPost FEBRUARY 28, 2019 — 08:24AM   VocalEssence was born in 1969 as the Plymouth Church Music Series. Just another concert series at a local church, founded by an ambitious, tireless and hypercreative choir director and organist named Philip Brunelle. In 2002, the Plymouth Music Series became VocalEssence. Today, Brunelle and his singers are…  Read More

VocalEssence’s Witness concert honors Ilhan Omar, Hallie Q. Brown, other trailblazers

by Ross Raihala | Pioneer Press February 21, 2019 at 1:00 pm  Back in 2017, VocalEssence associate conductor G. Phillip Shoultz III was starting to plan the group’s annual Witness concert and was thinking about influential women who changed everything. “I was struck by what is going on in our society with the rise and…  Read More

VocalEssence WITNESS School Workshops in Full Swing

Our VocalEssence WITNESS School Program workshops are in full swing, with all eight VocalEssence Teaching Artists busy conducting workshops with more than 4,300 students from 32 elementary, middle and high schools, through the lens of their artistic medium, around the subject of trailblazing African American and African women in our community. Recently, at Alice Smith…  Read More

Honor the African American Women Who Power Our Journey to Equality with VocalEssence WITNESS: Yet They Persist

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Jennifer Weismann 612-716-0556 HONOR THE AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN WHO POWER OUR JOURNEY TO EQUALITY WITH VOCALESSENCE WITNESS: YET THEY PERSIST Atlanta’s Spelman College Glee Club will join the VocalEssence Chorus and VocalEssence Singers Of This Age—February 24             MINNEAPOLIS — November 27, 2018 — VocalEssence will celebrate the accomplishments of…  Read More

VocalEssence WITNESS: Fast Facts

The School Program The VocalEssence WITNESS School Program is an exciting opportunity for Minnesota students and teachers to learn more about the contributions African Americans have made, and are making, to the fine arts. This program is recommended for students in grades 4-12, is open to all classrooms and subject areas, and includes: Two free school workshop…  Read More

VocalEssence Announcements Concert & Family Programs for Historic 50th Season

CONTACT: Jennifer Weismann 612-716-0556 VOCALESSENCE ANNOUNCES CONCERT & FAMILY PROGRAMS FOR HISTORIC 50th SEASON Celebrating 50 years of honoring music’s greatest artists, introducing their work to new audiences, and nurturing the diverse voices that will shape its next half-century. Download season photos here. MINNEAPOLIS — May 15, 2018—Marking a milestone for the nationally renowned…  Read More

Langston Hughes and The Harlem Renaissance Revived in VocalEssence WITNESS: Of Such I Dream

CONTACT: Jennifer Weismann 612-716-0556   LANGSTON HUGHES AND THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE REVIVED IN VOCALESSENCE WITNESS: OF SUCH I DREAM Celebrate jazz poet and activist Langston Hughes at the world premiere of William Banfield’s ‘I Trust Harlem Is Still There’ and the debut of new VocalEssence Youth Choir—February 18 MINNEAPOLIS—October 2017—Our dreams inspire our actions and…  Read More

A Few Highlights from VocalEssence WITNESS: Underground Railroad

In case you missed it, these were just a few high points from the 2017 VocalEssence WITNESS concert at Orchestra Hall: 1. Hearing songs from three local composers (Daniel Kantor’s “River Holy”, Emily Feld’s “The Gift to Sing”, and Jake Runestad’s “We Can Mend the Sky”). The concert served as the world premiere of Feld’s…  Read More

VocalEssence Programs Enhancing Music Education in Minnesota

For the next three months, VocalEssence will feature its education programs to promote Music Makes Us Whole, an initiative that brings together non-profit and for-profit organizations in Minnesota to raise awareness about the ways a rich music education enhances a child’s development. This month, we’re highlighting VocalEssence WITNESS School Program and Lullaby Project. VocalEssence WITNESS…  Read More

VocalEssence Celebrates Special WITNESS Anniversary and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

CONTACT: Jennifer Weismann 612-716-0556 VOCALESSENCE CELEBRATES SPECIAL WITNESS ANNIVERSARY AND DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. Local choral ensemble and high school students team up with Sounds of Blackness in WITNESS: Let Freedom Ring—Feb. 8 MINNEAPOLIS — January 23, 2015 — Minneapolis-based choral ensemble VocalEssence will celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. — plus, the…  Read More

WITNESS Launch: Orienting Teachers to Let Freedom Ring

The VocalEssence Education staff led the annual WITNESS Teacher Orientation Seminar on Saturday, September 27, 2014. This was a wonderful opportunity for teachers in our partner schools to learn all they need to know about their school’s participation in the WITNESS School Program. Teachers who attended received copies of the 2014 WITNESS Teacher Resource Guide and…  Read More

VocalEssence WITNESS

VocalEssence WITNESS is one of the nation’s premier initiatives celebrating the contributions of African Americans to our shared American heritage through concerts, recordings and comprehensive educational programs. Please visit the VocalEssence WITNESS Program History page to learn more about the background and inspiration behind the program. VocalEssence WITNESS School Program offers online workshops with experienced Teaching…  Read More

Learning and Engagement Programs

VocalEssence Learning & Engagement programs are specifically designed for people ages 0-100+ to connect, create, and learn across cultures. In each of our programs, we: Connect people with renowned choral experts —giving them the opportunity to learn directly from exceptional role models. Blend music and the study of cultures present in Minnesota’s diverse population. Provide…  Read More

Performer Melanie DeMore Pounds, Claps into Town for WITNESS: Stomp & Sing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PERFORMER MELANIE DEMORE POUNDS, CLAPS INTO TOWN FOR WITNESS: Stomp & Sing VocalEssence welcomes vocal activist Melanie DeMore in concert Sun., Feb. 9, 4 p.m.   MINNEAPOLIS—November 7, 2013—The 130-voice VocalEssence Chorus will share the Orchestra Hall stage with vocal activist Melanie DeMore on Sunday, Feb. 9 at 4 p.m. for a…  Read More