Press Release

First Solo Concert for VocalEssence Youth Choir to Celebrate Identity


Jennifer Weismann

Singers of This Age” (SOTA) choir welcomes special guests 
for inaugural performance in new VocalEssence Family Series—November 8

            MINNEAPOLIS — October 23, 2018 — The first concert in the new VocalEssence Family Series, Identity, will be the inaugural solo performance of the VocalEssence Singers Of This Age (SOTA), the youth choir comprised of high schoolers from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.

Joining the youth choir will be a range of special guests including the drumming, dancing Cameroon Choir; the multicultural women’s vocal ensemble Mila; inclusive and innovative Threads Dance Project; and singers from the choirs of VocalEssence Vintage Voices, the choir program for older adults.

Images are available here.

Both the Family Series and the VocalEssence Singers of this Age are efforts by the nationally renowned performance and education organization to reach new audiences in its 50th season. VocalEssence Singers Of This Age was established in 2017 as a choir providing young singers with a support structure that makes participation in the arts possible. Transportation to rehearsals and performances, meals and snacks on rehearsal and performance nights, free uniforms and free concert tickets are provided to choir members, opening doors for Singers Of This Age to reflect the diversity of our community.

Identity will take place at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis on November 8 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. All ages are welcome— single adult tickets are $15; children and youth ages 0-17 are free, with the purchase of an adult ticket. $10 adult tickets are also available as part of a Family Series Subscription. Choose three or more Family Concert events to subscribe. The VocalEssence Family Series reflects the organization’s commitment to sharing music with the broadest possible audience in the community, and all five Family Series concerts are free for children and young people ages 0-17 with the purchase of an adult ticket.

“The strength of the Singers Of This Age experience is grounded in community. Our singers know they are accepted as they are. They are comfortable removing their “masks” as they share their stories and learn more about each other,” says VocalEssence Associate Conductor G. Phillip Shoultz, III. “Identity will share stories in song, spoken word, and movement. Some of the stories reflect the cultures of persons living in the state of Minnesota today. Some of the stories bring awareness to the voices of indigenous persons throughout the world who have been overlooked, forgotten, or treated unfairly. Some of the stories are unique to the performers on stage. All of the stories represent the collective identity of us as human beings. When shared together, the stories remind us that, “It’s ok to be you!” The wide range of ages, stages of artistic maturity, and cultures represented in the program makes it the perfect selection for our new inclusive Family Series of concerts and events.”

VocalEssence, called “one of the irreplaceable music ensembles of our time” by Dana Gioia, past chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, 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 300 commissions and 500 world premieres. For more information, visit