VocalEssence Kicks Off 50th Season with a Trip Down Memory Lane—At The Ordway Oct. 7
VOCALESSENCE KICKS OFF 50th SEASON WITH A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE—AT THE ORDWAY OCT. 7
Special guests—and surprises—as choral nonprofit kicks off historic anniversary with songs from their most popular performances
MINNEAPOLIS — June 27, 2018—It’s going to be a magical night of remembrance and tribute as VocalEssence opens its 2018-2019 season with a 50th Anniversary Concert. Luminaries from the world of Minnesota music will stroll through the choir’s best-loved performances and mingle at a fête afterwards.
The VocalEssence Chorus & Ensemble Singers will start the show just like the choir at that first performance: with Aaron Copland’s In the Beginning. After five decades of conducting, VocalEssence founder Philip Brunelle knows when he’s got a hit on his hands, and at this concert, he’ll have a chance to see a whole new audience delight in performances of Benny Andersson’s Kristina and John Philip Sousa’s El Capitan—crowd favorites they might have missed the first time around.
Famous faces from the Minnesota arts community will join in the fun. Don Shelby, who has transformed himself from Paul Bunyan to Mark Twain to a board member at the behest of VocalEssence, will be there; as will singer, spoken word artist, and rapper Dessa. Actor and singer Bradley Greenwald, soprano Maria Jette, mezzo-soprano Clara Osowski, opera director Vern Sutton, and A Prairie Home Companion actor Pop Wagner will all be on hand to testify about the key contributions VocalEssence has made to the Twin Cities community.
“We’ve done the hard work of reaching this point as an organization, so this program is our way of enjoying beautiful memories with the artists who helped get us here,” said Philip Brunelle, VocalEssence founder and artistic director. “Our VocalEssence Chorus & Ensemble Singers love this program, because it’s packed with hits—I’m not worried about overindulging, because you only turn 50 once!”
“And of course, it wouldn’t be a real anniversary celebration without your friends, and VocalEssence has been lucky enough to work with the most extraordinary range of talent here in Choral Country,” Brunelle added. “Their energy and creativity has fed ours, and we’re thrilled to have so many singers and actors join us. We know this night is going to be too extraordinary to end after the concert performance, so we’re following that up with a one-of-a-kind afterparty dinner at the Landmark Center.”
The 50th Anniversary Concert will be held at the Ordway Concert Hall on Oct. 7 from 4 pm to 6 pm. Tickets are currently available as part of a 50th Concert Series Subscription. Single tickets go on sale on Monday, August 13, 2018. There will be a pre-concert conversation from 3 pm to 3:30 pm. A 50th Anniversary Dinner will follow at the Landmark Center from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, with food by Deco Catering. Tickets for the dinner are $75. For season tickets, details about the season, individual tickets and other information, please visit 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—and the choral ensemble that Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones says “sings magnificently”—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 vocalessence.org.