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VocalEssence Strategic Plan 2022-2025

VocalEssence celebrates singing as an essential human expression. Artistic quality, passion for singing together, and reputation for engaging people are hallmarks of our impact. As our community changes, we have developed this strategic plan to address our future in three key areas, keeping singing together at the center of our work.

VocalEssence Annual Report 2021-2022

“INSPIRED”—was the word used most frequently by patrons to describe their engagement with VocalEssence during the 2021-2022 season. Inspiration was at the center of everything we did this year: Our Chorus and Ensemble Singers were inspired to return to singing in person at venues ranging from Orchestra Hall to the Historic Holmes Theatre in Detroit…

Joe Davis with an orange background, Photo Credit: Ryan Stopera

WITNESS: Reawakening Love Digital Concert Program

FEATURING: Joe Davis and The Poetic Diaspora VocalEssence Chorus VocalEssence Ensemble Singers VocalEssence Singers Of This Age VocalEssence Vintage Voices Kristianna Marks, soprano soloist Mary Jo Gothmann, piano Philip Brunelle, conductor G . Phillip Shoultz, III, conductor

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…

Where in the World are the Conductors-July 2021

Philip Brunelle: Artistic Director and Founder Philip Brunelle is in the midst of a “planning month” as he prepares for the upcoming 53rd season—lots of meetings with composers, artists, and finalizing the season announcement for each of you! The final Plymouth Summer Concert occurred on July 20 when Jearlyn and Jevetta Steele gave us their…  Read More

VocalEssence WITNESS Classroom Resource Hub

Welcome from the LEARNING AND ENGAGEMENT TEAM Thank you for registering for VocalEssence WITNESS! Enjoy these free resources funded by institutions and individual donors. Scroll down to view a variety of resources created by curriculum writer Joanna Cortright and the VocalEssence Learning and Engagement team staff. We hope you and your students will use and…

William Banfield | 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 William Banfield.  William Banfield b. 1961 William Banfield is an award-winning African American composer whose symphonies, operas, and chamber works have been performed and recorded by major symphonies across the country. He received his Bachelor…  Read More

Artist Workshops

VocalEssence Teaching Artists explore the yearly program theme through the lens of their artistic discipline, creating an integrative academic experience for students combining the study of African American culture with art, music, social studies, literature, character building, and other areas of school curriculum. VocalEssence Teaching Artists Timothy Berry, Vocalist/Composer/Percussionist Patricia Brown, Dance Instructor/Choreographer Brandon Commodore,…

Postcards from Mexico-Days 8 & 9

SUNDAY 9/1/2019 and MONDAY 9/2/2019 The End and the Beginning   We are home, and after the whirlwind of Saturday and Sunday, the dust has settled.  I’m late in writing about our last days of our trip because I’m dazed, and it all seems like a dream.  But then I open my Facebook page, and…  Read More

Youth Choir Interviews

Sing a wide range of music—from classical to hip-hop & everything in between Perform in world-class venues—Orchestra Hall, The Ordway Center for Performing Arts Awaken your creativity by studying voice, dance, theatre, and spoken word Travel throughout the state and region Rehearse at Augsburg University to provide exposure to life in college Belong to an accepting community of your peers from…  Read More

Cause for Celebration: Why Choruses See Major Anniversaries as Major Opportunities

Don Lee |  Chorus America January 10, 2019 North American choruses are anticipating a wave of major anniversaries in the coming years, and their leaders are hard at work preparing to mark the occasions. The most thoughtful celebrations honor a chorus’s past achievements, while laying the groundwork for an even stronger future. Brace yourself. In…  Read More

Brandon Commodore

Drummer/Music Producer Brandon Commodore is a talented musician, producer and businessman. Brandon’s passion for music started at a very young age, when he picked up drumsticks and followed very close in his father’s footsteps; playing in school bands and continuing his music studies into college. Shortly after graduating high school, Brandon joined the Grammy Award winning Sounds of Blackness…  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

VocalEssence Youth Choir Dreams Big for Its Debut Concert at Orchestra Hall

14 schools, 56 students, one groundbreaking choir. by Les Poling Posted February 13, 2018 “Together we sing.” That phrase, according to VocalEssence Associate Conductor G. Phillip Shoultz, III, is more than VocalEssence’s official tagline. It’s a hands-on philosophy the entire group takes to heart, especially the new VocalEssence Youth Choir. Creating community has been VocalEssence’s mission since the…  Read More