Star Tribune: VocalEssence Ensemble Singers celebrate the music of John Rutter at Central Lutheran Church

By William Randall Beard
Special to the Star Tribune

Posted: March 22, 2014

VocalEssence kicked off its three-day concert series celebrating the music of John Rutter on Friday night. Many filled the pews early to hear a discussion of the musical program and VocalEssence’s upcoming 2014-2015 season.

One of the originally planned features of this concert was that Rutter himself
(b. 1945) would conduct his music. Illness unfortunately caused him to be physically absent, but he was sonically present through the music and recorded voiceovers that introduced several of the pieces. The musical selections ranged from as early as 1974 to as recent as 2010 – a reminder that one of the most famous and beloved composers alive is still active and writing. The program varied stylistically from hymnody to jazz-inflected tunes to classical choral polyphony.