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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 video workshops and accompanying resources created by the VocalEssence Teaching Artists and Associate Conductor | Director of Learning and Engagement, G. Phillip Shoultz, III.

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. 2022-2023 VocalEssence Teaching Artists Timothy Berry, Vocalist/Composer/Percussionist Patricia Brown, Dance Instructor/Choreographer Brandon…

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

VocalEssence Launches Diverse Youth Choir

VocalEssence is expanding upon the work we have done for nearly three decades in providing Minneapolis and St. Paul students access to choral music. We are creating a  VocalEssence Youth Choir that revolutionizes our concept of choir and seeks to reflect the diversity of our community in its membership. Through this choir, we seek to…  Read More

VocalEssence Singers Of This Age

VocalEssence Singers Of This Age is a dynamic group of 50 young people from Twin Cities high schools who sing, dance, write their own music, rap, and—most importantly—reflect the diversity of our community in its membership. Under the visionary leadership of G. Phillip Shoultz, III, the students sing a wide range of music—from classical to…  Read More

Reatha Clark King Award

The Reatha Clark King Award for Excellence and Youth Motivation through the Cultural Arts was developed by VocalEssence in 2007 to celebrate and recognize outstanding leaders who are in the field empowering young people through direct contact, making a way for them to be as successful as they can be. It was named after the…  Read More

Ethan Johnson

Director of Artistic Operations phone 612-547-1480 Ethan Johnson joined the team at VocalEssence in the summer of 2019. As the Director of Artistic Operations, Ethan oversees the process of planning and executing the behind-the-scenes details of VocalEssence artistic programs, including concert production and Learning & Engagement programmatic events. Working with VocalEssence artists and guest…  Read More

2015-2016 ¡Cantaré! Composers

Elementary School Residency – Alephsus Valdés Alephsus Valdés has spent his career on musical production and recording, covering the whole process from composing, arranging, recording, mixing and post producing. As a composer, his works focus on theatrical, orchestral, film, and chamber music, with arrangements for different instrumentations. His compositions include writing the entire score for…  Read More