VocalEssence Announces 40th Anniversary 2008-2009 Season
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 8, 2008
Contact: Jennifer Bauer—612-547-1459
“VocalEssence is one of the irreplaceable music ensembles of our time” -Dana Gioia, Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
VOCALESSENCE ANNOUNCES ITS 40TH ANNIVERSARY 2008-2009 SEASON
Jazz Icon Billy Taylor
Choral Superstar Eric Whitacre
Dominick Argento World Premiere for 500 voices
MINNEAPOLIS— VocalEssence celebrates its 40th Anniversary Season with founding Artistic Director Philip Brunelle. The 130-voice VocalEssence Chorus and 32-voice Ensemble Singers perform six season concerts, two community performances, and a special 40th Birthday Party hosted by Garrison Keillor.
Season highlights include:
• Choral superstar Eric Whitacre conducting a world premiere of his music
• National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master Billy Taylor performing his composition Peaceful Warrior
• An unprecedented choral collaboration among eight of Minnesota’s most prestigious professional and community choruses joining forces for a Dominick Argento world premiere, composed in honor of the 40th Anniversary of VocalEssence.
VocalEssence performs in the region’s leading venues, including Orchestra Hall, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Cathedral of Saint Paul, Ted Mann Concert Hall, Plymouth Congregational Church, Trinity Lutheran Church and Normandale Lutheran Church.
For additional press information and photographs, please contact Jennifer Bauer, 612-547-1459 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SEASON SUBSCRIPTION PERFORMANCES
Musique de France
Friday, October 17, 2008 – 8:00 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. Paul
The VocalEssence Chorus, Ensemble Singers, and special guests The St. Olaf Choir and tenor Dan Dressen fill the magnificent Cathedral acoustic with Berlioz’s Te Deum, joined by full orchestra —including twelve harps! This all-French program also features lyrical music of Poulenc, Villette, Duruflé and Daniel-Lesur.
Music of Remembrance and Hope
Saturday, November 15, 2008 – 8:00 p.m. at Ted Mann Concert Hall
Kaddish: Music of Remembrance and Hope is a new work by Lawrence Siegel celebrating the truth and beauty of individual testimony, given voice by fifteen Holocaust survivors. Klezmer melodies weave through this music for soloists, chorus and chamber orchestra. Highlights from the new authorized edition of Bernstein’s Mass complete a haunting, unforgettable evening.
Sunday, December 7, 2008 at Plymouth Congregational Church, 4:00 p.m.
Friday, December 12, 2008 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Stillwater, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 13, 2008 at Normandale Lutheran Church in Edina, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 14, 2008 at Plymouth Congregational Church, 4:00 p.m.
Celebrating its 32nd year, Welcome Christmas! is a beloved Twin Cities holiday tradition! This season’s centerpiece is the world premiere of “El Niño de los Andes” (The Child of the Andes), written for VocalEssence by Ecuadorian composer Diego Luzuriaga. Alongside familiar Christmas favorites, VocalEssence premieres two brand new carols from the 11th annual VocalEssence/American Composers Forum Welcome Christmas! Carol Contest for French horn and chorus.
WITNESS: Celebration of a Dream
Sunday, February 15, 2009 – 4:00 p.m. at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts
VocalEssence celebrates the 80th birthday anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with music dedicated to and inspired by his life and vision. Influenced by Dr. King, jazz legend Dr. Billy Taylor performs his composition Peaceful Warrior, a three-movement work written for chorus, orchestra and jazz trio.
Eric Whitacre Extravaganza
Sunday, March 22, 2009 – 4:00 p.m. at Orchestra Hall
The London Times calls his music “extraordinarily beautiful.” Classics Today says it is as “electrifying as anything you’ve ever heard.” Young singers agree that Eric Whitacre is the hottest thing in choral music—his music has been played over a million times on MySpace. Eric Whitacre conducts the VocalEssence Chorus and Ensemble Singers, joined by the St. Olaf Choir and the 160-voice Minnesota Statewide Honors Choir, including a world premiere composed for this occasion.
Sunday, May 3, 2009 – 4:00 p.m. at Orchestra Hall
Six prestigious professional and community choirs in Minnesota join forces with the VocalEssence Chorus and Ensemble Singers for a celebration of the incredible choral music tradition in our community. Kantorei, Magnum Chorum, Minnesota Chorale, National Lutheran Choir, The Singers and Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus each perform a work premiered or commissioned by VocalEssence over its 40 year history. Then, over 500 magnificent voices join together for the world premiere of a work composed for this occasion by Dominick Argento.
Star of Wonder
Saturday, December 6, 2008 – 2 p.m. at Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis
Children of all ages are welcome at Star of Wonder, our annual one-hour family holiday concert. The VocalEssence Ensemble Singers and the Mississippi Stars dance troupe perform a feast of favorite holiday music.
¡Cantaré! Community Concert Celebration
Tuesday, May 12, 2009 – 7:30 p.m. at Orchestra Hall
Celebrating rich Mexican musical traditions, ¡Cantaré! is a cross-cultural exchange program connecting composers from Mexico with students of all ages across the metropolitan area. Composers Jorge Córdoba, Sabina Covarrubias, and Jorge Cózatl will work with students to create a deeper understanding and appreciation of Mexican classical and folk music, while writing new music that will be premiered at the performance. This new initiative showcases the rich contributions of Mexican music and celebrate the culture that is now a part of our local heritage!
VocalEssence 40th Birthday Party with Garrison Keillor
Sunday, September 14, 2008 – 4:00 p.m. at Orchestra Hall
The always entertaining and above average Garrison Keillor hosts the VocalEssence 40th Birthday Party featuring special guests Maria Jette, Vern Sutton, and James Sewell. The VocalEssence Chorus and Ensemble Singers take a musical journey through the past 40 seasons, revisiting the biggest performance hits…and misses! Guaranteed unpredictable, this party features waltzing singers, tap dancers, capricious comedy, even a marching band. Performance tickets are $40. Private Garrison Keillor reception tickets (including the performance) are $100.
Sing With Eric Whitacre
Friday, March 20, 2008 – 7:00-9:00 p.m. (location TBA)
Choral music superstar Eric Whitacre conducts a community sing open to the public. Join Eric as he leads a reading session of his music. Additional information will be posted on www.vocalessence.org
VOCALESSENCE SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION
The VocalEssence 2008-2009 season brochure is now available. Season tickets go on sale beginning Monday, April 21, 2008. VocalEssence subscribers may create their own subscription package, choosing three, four, five, or the full six-concert subscription. Subscription prices range from $115 to $200. VocalEssence subscribers save up to 31% off regular single ticket prices and pay no box office or ticket exchange fees. Six-concert subscribers also receive a free ticket to the VocalEssence 40th Anniversary Birthday Party hosted by Garrison Keillor (a $40 value).
For more information about VocalEssence subscriptions, please call the Orchestra Hall Box Office at (612) 371-5642 or (toll-free) 800-292-4141 x 642 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; or visit the VocalEssence Web site at www.vocalessence.org.
Single tickets for VocalEssence performances go on sale on July 1, 2008.
The Orchestra Hall Box Office is located at the corner of 11th Street and Marquette Avenue in downtown Minneapolis.