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Gabriel Faure

Gabriel Fauré | 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 Gabriel Fauré. Gabriel Fauré 1845-1924 As one of the leading French composers of the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-centuries, Gabriel Fauré played an integral role in the development of French music. Outside of his work…  Read More

Feeling Fine with the Fine Arts: 6 Shows to Livestream

Ballet dancers, jazz musicians, the Minnesota Orchestra, VocalEssence—they’re keeping us entertained and themselves in good shape By Erik Tormoen G. Phillip Shoultz III, conductor of the Twin Cities’ VocalEssence choral ensemble, sits at a piano, belting Ella Fitzgerald’s “Blue Skies,” livestreaming from his home—because it’s another morning of self-quarantine, and this is what he’s doing…  Read More


Undine Smith Moore | 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 Undine Smith Moore. Undine Smith Moore 1904-1989 American composer Undine Smith Moore composed in a variety of different forms and genres, but is best known for her arrangements of spirituals and other choral compositions and…  Read More

Sponsor a Seat for just $25

Who is your inspiration? On February 24, 3,462 students from 34 schools will hear our radically diverse youth choir VocalEssence Singers Of This Age at the WITNESS Young People’s Concerts. But here is the catch… In order to make the concerts possible for all, we need to raise $25 per student. Sponsor a seat (or two)…  Read More

Explore the Limits of the Human Voice at Divine Light

Purchase your tickets to Divine Light on Sunday, October 13, 2019 by clicking here! A Silence Haunts Me In 2017, Jake Runestad travelled to Vienna and found himself in the Haus der Musik Museum in Vienna, where he encountered a facsimile of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Heiligenstadt Testament.  It was the first time he had read…  Read More

2019-2020 Season

“Life after 50” could be a challenge for some, but not for VocalEssence! We are moving from one anniversary to the next. This season marks 30 years since we began our VocalEssence WITNESS program honoring the contributions of African Americans to the arts. We are celebrating with two WITNESS-themed performances this season—What a Mighty God…  Read More

Humorous Holiday Hits Program Notes

DEAR SANTA, HAVE YOU HAD THE MEASLES? Frank Kells, Al Arland, & Al Vann For a number of years the Ensemble Singers appeared with Philip Brunelle on Minnesota Public Radio each December with a program of humorous Christmas music that no one hears—this being one of the ‘gems.’ (SWEET ANGIE) THE CHRISTMAS TREE ANGEL M.K.…  Read More

VocalEssence to Perform at Super Bowl Live

VocalEssence is thrilled to announce that it has been tapped to kick off the Super Bowl Live festivities in Minneapolis. This January, in a kick-off event leading up to Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium, the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers will perform a 20 minute set on Nicollet Mall before Idina Menzel, Tony Award-Winner and…  Read More

VocalEssence Vintage Voices Choirs Take the Stage

It is concert week for the VocalEssence Vintage Voices programs at Parkshore Senior Community in St. Louis Park and Ecumen Seasons at Apple Valley. Both choirs have been working hard with conductor Rob Graham and accompanist John Jensen. The Vintage Voices program from VocalEssence brings the many benefits—physical, psychological, and social—of choral participation to older…  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

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Annually VocalEssence partners with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) to offer in depth workshops about our concerts for older adults. OLLI at the University of Minnesota is a vital community of older adults who are brought together by their intellectual curiosity and love of learning. An affiliated program of the university’s College of Continuing Education,…  Read More