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Karla Nweje

Karla Nweje is an arts educator, choreographer, performer, and literary artist known for cultivating partnerships across organizations and programs to make quality arts experiences accessible to all learners. Karla is a regular presenter and speaker at arts and education conferences and serves on the teaching artist roster for many organizations.

Ginger Commodore

Ginger Commodore is a singer, songwriter, and actress who enjoys an illustrious career in the Twin Cities area. An original member of the Grammy Award winning Sounds of Blackness and the Moore by Four vocal jazz ensemble, Ginger has shared the stage with countless stars and has taken her inspirational performances around the globe. Click…

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.

Arvo Pärt | 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 Arvo Pärt. Arvo Pärt b. 1935 Arvo Pärt is an Estonian composer known for his unique musical language, tintinnabuli. Born in Paide, his family soon moved to Rakvere, where he began to study piano at…  Read More

William Boyce | 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 Boyce. William Boyce 1711-1779 William Boyce is one of the foremost English composers of church music of his era, and also known for his symphonies and stage music. Boyce began his musical education under…  Read More

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

Craig Carnahan | 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 Craig Carnahan. Craig Carnahan b. 1951 Craig Carnahan is an American composer whose music has been commissioned and performed by prestigious ensembles throughout North America.  Carnahan received his B.A. from Concordia College (Moorhead, MN) and…  Read More

Diana Syrse | 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 Diana Syrse. Diana Syrse b. 1984 Diana Syrse is a Mexican composer and singer, who studied composition at the Facultad de Música, further obtaining two Masters Degrees at CalArts and the Hochschule für Musik und…  Read More

James Edward Maceo West | 28 Days of Black Excellence

Today marks the eleventh day of 28 Days of Black Excellence created by VocalEssence Associate Conductor G. Phillip Shoultz, III. Phillip highlights the work of James Edward Maceo West, a research professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Mechanical Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University and member of the National Inventors Hall of Fame. West…  Read More

Gwendolyn Brooks | 28 Days of Black Excellence

Today marks the tenth day of 28 Days of Black Excellence created by VocalEssence Associate Conductor G. Phillip Shoultz, III. Phillip highlights the work of poet Gwendolyn Brooks, “one of the most highly regarded, influential, and widely read poets of 20th-century American poetry. She was a much-honored poet, even in her lifetime, with the distinction…  Read More

Joel Thompson | 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 Joel Thompson. Joel Thompson b.1988 Joel Thompson is an Atlanta composer, pianist, conductor, and educator best known for his choral work, Seven Last Words of the Unarmed which was premiered in November 2015 by the University…  Read More

Michael Abels | 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 Michael Abels. Michael Abels b. 1962 Michael Abels is best-known for his scores for the Oscar-winning film GET OUT, and for Jordan Peele’s US, for which Abels won the World Soundtrack Award, the Jerry Goldsmith…  Read More

Celebrating Black Excellence

VocalEssence is celebrating Black Excellence. As part of its daily pandemic show, Take 5 with GPS, VocalEssence will showcase Black achievement in the arts and beyond each day of Black History Month, and will celebrate notable Black Women for each day of Women’s History Month.

Rollo Dilworth | 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 Rollo Dilworth. Rollo Dilworth b.1970  Rollo Dilworth is an American choral composer, arranger, conductor, and music educator best-known for his contemporary choral arrangements of African American spirituals. As a young boy growing up in St.…  Read More

Joseph Canteloube | 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 Joseph Canteloube. This episode features Soprano Maria Jette. Joseph Canteloube 1879-1957 The French composer, pianist, and folk-song collector, Joseph Canteloube, is best known for his compositions that evoke the landscape of his native region, the…  Read More