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VocalEssence Chorus

Hailed by the Minneapolis Star Tribune as “singing impeccably, making even the most complex harmonies sound transparent” and performing with “consummate professionalism,” the VocalEssence Chorus is an exceptional group of talented, committed singers from many walks of life. Equally at ease sharing the stage with famous guest artists such as Dessa and Sweet Honey In The…  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

General Press Photos

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Philip Brunelle

Artistic Director and Founder phone 612-547-1451 fax 612-547-1484 Philip Brunelle, artistic director and founder of VocalEssence, is an internationally renowned conductor, choral scholar and visionary. He has made his lifelong mission the promotion of the choral art in all its forms, especially rarely heard works of the past and outstanding new music. Under his…  Read More

Elissa Weller

Director of Development phone 612-547-1452 fax 612-547-1484 Elissa Weller is Director of Development for VocalEssence, overseeing all philanthropic efforts for the organization including individual, corporate, foundation, and government funding sources, major gifts, special events and fundraisers. In her role, she oversees the Development and Gala committees. Elissa joined VocalEssence in 2007 as the Chorus…  Read More

Mary Ann Aufderheide

Executive Director phone 612-547-1454 fax 612-547-1464 Mary Ann Aufderheide joined VocalEssence as managing director in 2003. Under her leadership she has firmly established the VocalEssence brand name as representing excellence in choral music and community engagement programs. During her tenure the organization has expanded its core of professional singers who tour regionally and internationally;…  Read More

Robert J. Graham

Learning and Engagement Manager | Conductor, Vintage Voices phone 612-547-1458 fax 612-547-1484 Robert J. Graham joined the VocalEssence team in August 2012 as both a member of the administrative staff and as a second tenor in the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers.  Robert oversees the operations of the acclaimed VocalEssence WITNESS School Program. In 2015, Robert…  Read More

Laura Holst

Development and Marketing Associate phone 612-547-1473 fax 612-547-1484 Laura Holst, Development and Marketing Associate, has been on staff at VocalEssence since August 2006. She received a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from St. Olaf College and a Master of Arts degree in arts administration from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. In addition…  Read More