The Best Sound of the Season? Four VocalEssence Choirs Bidding One and All to ‘Welcome Christmas’
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THE BEST SOUND OF THE SEASON? FOUR VOCALESSENCE CHOIRS BIDDING ONE AND ALL TO ‘WELCOME CHRISTMAS’!
Holiday concert of familiar carols and new compositions returns to Northrop–Dec. 9 & 10
MINNEAPOLIS—August 24, 2023—The vast space of Northrop might find itself struggling to contain the Christmas spirit growing inside it as the VocalEssence Welcome Christmas concerts return for a second year of big, beautiful holiday music-making. Northrop, at the University of Minnesota will host two concerts to ring in the season: December 9 at 4 p.m., and December 10 at 4 p.m.
“Music is a language of its own, and whether you say Feliz Navidad, God Jul, or Veselykh Svya, you’ll understand the joy and warmth in the message of every ‘Welcome Christmas’ program selection,” said VocalEssence founder and artistic director Philip Brunelle. “The energy of last year’s concerts was big enough to light up every tannenbaum in the state of Minnesota, and this year, we plan to top it—with the help of the 7,000 pipes in Northrop’s miraculous Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ plus a brass and percussion ensemble, and our 200-voice-strong company of singers.”
“This is the season for coming together to affirm our values as a community, and Welcome Christmas concerts are a gift that helps VocalEssence and our audiences do that with maximum love and goodwill,” said associate artistic director G. Phillip Shoultz, III. “We’re hearing not just from our Chorus and Ensemble Singers, but we’re also being led into the magical holiday mood by the singers in our teenage choir, VocalEssence Singers Of This Age, and the respected elders in our Vintage Voices choirs. Holiday traditions are ever-evolving, and as much as we love the classic carols–and singing along to them together–one of the most exciting parts of the program is sure to be the premiere of three new carols from Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds commissioned by VocalEssence for these concerts.”
Northrop director of artistic and community programs Kristen Brogdon said, “Northrop is thrilled to embrace and join in VocalEssence’s holiday tradition of Welcome Christmas. Experiencing all four choirs on our stage is a feast for the eyes as well as the ears. We all feel the love and joy when the audience joins voices with the venerable ensembles of VocalEssence, and that warmth spills into our lobby and out into our communities.”
Welcome Christmas will feature the VocalEssence Chorus and Ensemble Singers, diverse teenage choir VocalEssence Singers Of This Age, senior singers from VocalEssence Vintage Voices, brass and percussion, and pianist Casey Rafn, with Philip Brunelle and G. Phillip Shoultz, III conducting. The program will include traditional carols, new work from Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds, who The Boston Globe says “is… perhaps the world’s hottest young choral composer,” and an audience-wide sing-along.
There will be two performances of the Welcome Christmas concert at Northrop, University of Minnesota, 84 Church St SE Minneapolis:
Tickets are available now in a VocalEssence or Northrop Season package. For more information, visit vocalessence.org. Single tickets are available on Northrop’s website, or by phone at the Northrop Box Office at 612-624-2345, Mon-Fri, 10:00am-3:00pm. Tickets prices vary, discounts are available.
Rooted in the belief that the arts are essential to the human experience, Northrop is committed to cultivating intersections between performing arts and education for the benefit of all participants now and for generations to come.
VocalEssence, the choral organization Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones says “sings magnificently,” provides opportunities that draw upon the power of singing together to nurture community, inspire creativity, affirm the value of all persons, and expand the impact of choral music. VocalEssence was founded in 1969 and through its performance series has debuted more than 300 commissions and world premieres. VocalEssence Learning & Engagement programs help people of all ages bridge, create, and learn across cultures by connecting them with renowned choral experts to provide exceptional role models, grow community self-esteem, self-expression, and engagement. For more information, visit www.vocalessence.org.
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