Press Release

VocalEssence to Perform Listener-Selected Top Ten Choral Songs-LIVE!

Jennifer Weismann

Local choral ensemble and MPR countdown top choral works in Listeners’ Choice Live concert—Apr. 22 and Apr. 24

 MINNEAPOLIS — April 6, 2016—Aaron Copland’s “Simple Gifts,” Randall Thompson’s “Alleluia,” John Rutter’s “What Sweeter Music?” Which will make the nation’s ultimate choral playlist? Find out Friday, Apr. 22, as nationally acclaimed choral ensemble VocalEssence reveals and performs a live countdown of the top a cappella and piano-accompanied choral pieces at Listeners’ Choice Live in St. Paul’s Ordway Concert Hall.

The songs are up for a vote at Voting for the song list is now live—anyone may select from a ballot of 100 choral favorites now through January 18.

“Performing a live countdown of choral music fans’ all-time favorite choral works is something we’ve never done before—we’re extremely enthused about this event and this partnership with and Classical Minnesota Public Radio’s Choral Stream. Personally, I’m excited to see the audience’s reactions as we unveil each piece,” said Philip Brunelle. “This is what we love to do most at VocalEssence—celebrate choral music, educate about its diversity and breadth, and introduce new pieces to our listeners in the process. It’s a magical and soul-stirring moment to perform before a concert hall packed with fellow music lovers who are as into the pieces as we are.”

VocalEssence Presents: Listeners’ Choice LIVE takes place on Friday, Apr. 22 at 8 p.m. at the Ordway Concert Hall in St. Paul, Minn.; a repeat performance takes place on Sunday, Apr. 24 at 4 p.m. Tickets are $20-40. For more information about this concert series and to purchase tickets, please call 651-224-4222 or visit

Preceding the concert, composer Randall Davidson and VocalEssence associate conductor G. Phillip Shoultz III will host a conversation about the concert’s program.

VocalEssence, called “one of the irreplaceable music ensembles of our time” by Dana Gioia, past chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts—and the choral ensemble that Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones says “sings magnificently”—is a leading arts organization that impacts thousands of students, singers, and composers each year through its initiative programs, contests, and support for innovative art. Regularly featured on “A Prairie Home Companion,” VocalEssence is in demand whenever choral music is required—performing with everyone from the Rolling Stones and Rufus Wainwright to James Earl Jones and the Morehouse College Glee Club. Founded in 1969, VocalEssence has debuted more than 250 commissions and world premieres. For more information, visit