Gather at the River with Mark Twain to Support Choral Art
GATHER AT THE RIVER WITH MARK TWAIN TO SUPPORT CHORAL ART
Twin Cities-based VocalEssence and Don Shelby
host fundraiser cruise for music education—May 2
MINNEAPOLIS—February 16, 2015—Join the 32-voice VocalEssence Ensemble Singers and television legend Don Shelby as they travel back in time on the historic Minnesota Centennial Showboat to support the future of choral music education in Gather at the River with Mark Twain fundraiser on Sat., May 2.
VocalEssence will host two musical journeys along the Mississippi River — first, at 3:30 p.m., and again at 7 p.m. With Mark Twain — portrayed by Shelby — narrating along the way, passengers will enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on the riverboat’s Victorian deck before moving to the indoor theater for a performance of choral masterpieces, folksongs, traditional spirituals and Americana conducted by assistant artistic director, Tesfa Wondemagegnehu.
All proceeds from the non-profit’s annual fundraiser will benefit its innovative initiatives — including WITNESS and ¡Cantaré!—which promote cultural diversity through music education. Additionally, VocalEssence funds teaching artists, artist residencies and school group tickets as part of its mission to engage communities, and particularly Twin Cities-based youth, in choral art.
“Our community initiatives are the backbone of our organization — these programs lead to new commissions, engagement with audiences of all ages, and first-class partnerships with leaders in the field of choral art,” said Philip Brunelle, founder and artistic director, VocalEssence. “Not surprisingly, we’ve decided to switch things up a bit this year! I think our audience will love sipping their cocktails while being immersed in the beauty of the Mississippi River and Centennial Showboat — it’s a wonderful way to have fun and raise money to support the arts.”
Tickets for the VocalEssence Gather at the River with Mark Twain fundraiser are available for $100. For more information about this event and to purchase tickets, please call 612-547-1473 or visit www.vocalessence.org.
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 150 commissions and world premieres. For more information, visit www.vocalessence.org.