UPCOMING VOCALESSENCE 2020-2021 SEASON ANNOUNCEMENT IS A SEASON IN… AND ON… DEMAND
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
UPCOMING VOCALESSENCE 2020-2021 SEASON ANNOUNCEMENT
IS A SEASON IN… AND ON… DEMAND
MN Choral Ensemble’s performances will be broadcast in high-definition video
to a new website—VocalEssence On Demand.
MINNEAPOLIS—September 30, 2020—VocalEssence, one of the world’s premier choral music organizations—is announcing its digital 2020-2021 concert season. The new season will available on a new website, VocalEssence On Demand, and includes a Chorus & Ensemble Singers series, a series of concerts from their intentionally diverse youth choir VocalEssence Singers of this Age (VESOTA), Master Classes with Philip Brunelle, interviews with guest artists in GPS & Friends, past concert releases, and a Story & Song series for younger viewers.
VocalEssence On Demand will offer incredible performances by the celebrated VocalEssence ensembles, available in high definition anytime, anyplace, for $49 for the entire season. Featuring stunningly clear audio and crisp, high-quality video, these performances will provide intimate and engaging experiences that are the next best thing to attending events in person. VocalEssence is also offering essential workers, unemployed people, those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and their caregivers a free VocalEssence On Demand subscription for the 2020-2021 Season. To subscribe, visit www.vocalessence.org/subscribe or call 612-371-5642.
“Undeniably, the pandemic has placed stresses on all performers, performing arts organizations and venues. But the crisis is not without opportunity,” says Philip Brunelle, VocalEssence artistic director and founder. “VocalEssence is thrilled we are no longer bound by geography or time constraints—we can make these experiences available anywhere on Earth. Our audiences new and old can literally listen and watch whenever they choose, wherever they happen to be!”
“This season is all about living into our motto—together we sing—and envisioning a world where all can live out their dreams,” says G. Phillip Shoultz, III, VocalEssence associate conductor and director of learning & engagement programs. “In the process of racial justice, you first have to imagine this world is possible. Then you can believe it. And then you have to be active and create it yourself with others—to make this the world you want to see. And then celebrate it through story and song. At VocalEssence, now more than ever, from our staff to our board to our singers, we are examining our racial biases and working to eliminate them. We are excited to invite the audience along on our journey as well.”
Aside from convenience, audiences will be able to enjoy performances in new ways, with an option to play, pause, rewind, and fast-forward concerts as well as live chat during each premiere broadcast.
The videos can be accessed through the VocalEssence On Demand website and streamed through a private Vimeo link anywhere online videos can be accessed—computer, tablet, smartphone, or smart TV. Each $49 subscription is good for an entire household and gives access to all performances during the season. Subscribers may share login information with those with whom they cohabitate.
VocalEssence will premiere eight new performances from October 2020 to June 2021. Subscribers will receive printed concert programs for the Chorus & Ensemble Singers Series at the door. In addition, when audiences are able to meet in person again, subscribers will get the first chance to purchase in-person tickets—at a discount. They will also have access to exclusive extras which include Master Classes with Artistic Director Philip Brunelle, behind the scenes interviews with guest artists, and past concert releases from the VocalEssence Vault.
VocalEssence will also be offering family programming, starring Associate Conductor G. Phillip Shoultz, III and members of the VocalEssence Singers Of This Age (VESOTA). For the smallest audience members, Phillip Shoultz has also created Story & Song—a video series with local authors designed to spark curiosity and inspire empathy in preschoolers and beyond.
The VocalEssence 2020-2021 Season will be full of the magnificent performances that audiences have come to expect, including:
Chorus & Ensemble Singers Series
Join Artistic Director Philip Brunelle, Associate Conductor G. Phillip Shoultz, III, members of the VocalEssence Chorus & Ensemble Singers, and special guests as they premiere four stunning performances that celebrate women composers, the wonder of the Christmas season, the music of social change, and the rich tapestry of cultures that call Minnesota home.
Each 60-minute performance has a specific release date during the season, and, once premiered, will be available to stream anytime, anywhere from the VocalEssence website. All performances are available with closed captioning in English and Spanish.
Commemorating 100 years of women’s voices through song
Release Date: Sunday, October 18, 2020
Length: 60 minutes
Join us for a special online musical event to commemorate the passion of the 19th Amendment—a critical milestone in the centuries-long struggle to let the voices of women be heard. VocalEssence lifts up those voices through music composed by women from the past 100 years—including Mabel Daniels, Alice Parker, Rosephanye Powell, and Jocelyn Hagen—who took the risk and shared their creations. Guiding us on the journey will be acclaimed actor Sally Wingert and the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers.
Behold the wonder of Christmas with familiar favorites
Release Date: Sunday, December 6, 2020
Length: 60 minutes
Behold the wonder of the season from the comfort of your home. For more than five decades, VocalEssence has welcomed Christmas. This December curl up by the fire and let Artistic Director Philip Brunelle and Associate Conductor G. Phillip Shoultz, III warm your heart with the sounds of Christmases past and present in new performances by the VocalEssence Chorus & Ensemble Singers. Dust off your singing voice and join us in beloved carols that will surely get you in the Christmas spirit.
Power of art to change the world
Release Date: Sunday, March 14, 2021
Length: 75 minutes
Art has the power to move mountains and change the world. It has been central to social movements from abolitionism to Black Lives Matter—mobilizing people and changing hearts and minds. Join the VocalEssence Chorus, Ensemble Singers & Singers Of This Age, and VocalEssence Teaching Artists as they travel through time to explore music birthed from activism and resistance that continue to shape the United States into an equitable nation for all.
SINGING THE WORLD AWAKE
Showcasing the rich tapestry of music in Minnesota
Thursday, June 17, 2021 from 7:30 to 9:30 PM
Central Lutheran Church, Minneapolis
Home to more than 100 languages, the Twin Cities are a sanctuary for thousands of displaced people from around the world. Join all of the VocalEssence singing ensembles and awaken to the beauty of our diversity, weaving in collaborative voices and multidisciplinary artists that illustrate the rich tapestry of cultures in the Twin Cities. The program features a world premiere that will move you to create change to ensure that all people can live out their dreams.
- VocalEssence Chorus & Ensemble Singers
- VocalEssence Singers Of This Age
- Sabathani Vintage Voices
- Community artists
- Philip Brunelle, conductor
- Robert Graham, conductor
- G. Phillip Shoultz, III, conductor
Singers Of This Age Series
The VocalEssence Singers Of This Age want everyone to imagine, believe, create, and celebrate a world where all people have what they need to live out their hopes and dreams. Join our high school singers and Associate Conductor G. Phillip Shoultz, III as they premiere four performances that will inspire you to be the change you want to see in the world.
Each 30-minute family-friendly performance has a specific release date during the season, and, once premiered, will be available to stream anytime, anywhere from the VocalEssence website.
1. form a mental image or concept of.
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars and change the world.”
—Harriet Tubman, American abolitionist
Discover beauty in diversity, and imagine a world where the spirit of kindness, generosity, and love for our neighbors lives in us all year. Join the VocalEssence Singers Of This Age as they usher in the season of hope and love through songs, spoken word, and poetry from winter celebrations around the world, including Christmas, Diwali, Hanukkah, Hmong New Year, Kwanzaa, and Las Posadas.
Release Date: Saturday, November 28, 2020
Length: 30 minutes
To accept (something) as true; feel sure of the truth of.
“If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it – then I can achieve it.”
—Rev. Jesse Jackson, American Civil Rights Activist
Let freedom ring as members of VocalEssence Singers Of This Age dare you to believe in a world where people are “not judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Through solo and group performances, these young musicians will use the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. to help us see how our actions can create a more inclusive world.
Release Date: Saturday, January 16, 2021
Length: 30 minutes
To bring (something) into existence.
“The future belongs to young people with an education and the imagination to create.”
—President Barack Obama
Will you be a witness? Join the VocalEssence Singers Of This Age and the VocalEssence Teaching Artists as they journey through American history to trace the power of creative expression to heal, connect people, and make change. Through solo and group performances, be inspired to find your voice and create your own art to shape a world where all dreams can become realities.
Release Date: Saturday, March 6, 2021
Length: 30 minutes
To acknowledge (a significant or happy day or event) with a social gathering or enjoyable activity.
“The power of the native dance, the power of these influences that have come into our days, this is what makes the folklore so rich. Not just steps, it all has a meaning.”
—Amalia Hernández Navarro, famous Mexican choreographer & founder of the world-renowned Ballet Folklórico de México
Move your body and raise your voice to celebrate the beauty of Mexico. Join VocalEssence Singers of This Age and local school partners as they perform new music written by Mexican composer Julio Morales. Dancers from Los Alegres Bailadores will lead Mexican folk dances, and join Associate Conductor G. Phillip Shoultz, III in singing Mexican songs to celebrate the day.
Release Date: Saturday, May 1, 2021
Length: 30 minutes
Master Classes with Philip Brunelle
Learn about some of history’s most fascinating composers, as Philip Brunelle takes you on a virtual tour of music through the ages.
How was it possible for Handel to compose his masterpiece in less than one month? Philip takes you through the music and shares his insights about this beloved oratorio.
The Mendelssohns: Felix and Fanny
Brother and sister Mendelssohn were both musical geniuses, yet Fanny is hardly known. University professor Peter Mercer-Taylor joins Philip to discuss and illuminate their music.
Benjamin Britten and the British Era of Song
The 20th century was a rich one for solo voice and according to Philip, “England gave us so much to enjoy, culminating in the music of Sir Britten.” (Also featuring a surprise guest!)
The “Dean of American Composers” and a man Philip knew as a friend, is the subject of this session in which Copland’s role in celebrating the rich heritage of the “American sound” is explored.
Story & Song
When the weather gets cold, spend time inside with us. Story & Song is a FREE video series designed especially for preschool kids and older to create a positive sense of self, spark curiosity, and inspire empathy while celebrating the multitude of cultures in our community. Created by Associate Conductor G. Phillip Shoultz, III, each 20-minute episode features a book and a song, as well as a visit from an author.
Episodes will be released four times from November to March and will be available to stream anytime, anywhere from the VocalEssence YouTube Channel. All episodes are available with closed captioning in English and Spanish.
- Saturday, November 14, 2020
- Saturday, December 12, 2020
- Saturday, February 6, 2021
- Saturday, March 20, 2021
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”—impacts thousands of students, singers, and composers each year through its initiative programs, contests, and support for innovative art. VocalEssence was founded in 1969 and has debuted more than 250 commissions and world premieres. For more information, visit vocalessence.org.