VocalEssence Launches Aspiring Composer Mentorship Program
VOCALESSENCE LAUNCHES ASPIRING COMPOSER
Choral ensemble’s ReMix pairs up-and-coming talent with award-winning mentors
MINNEAPOLIS — May 6, 2015 — Nationally acclaimed choral ensemble VocalEssence has added a new educational program to cultivate an upcoming generation of choral music composers.
VocalEssence ReMix pairs four emerging Minnesota composers with four award-winning composers for a six-month one-on-one mentorship. The assignment? To create choral works to be premiered at the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) of Minnesota’s state conference this November. Following an open call this spring, the four winners—chosen from 43 eligible Minnesota residents with evidence of musical work written for voice—and their respective mentors, were announced on May 6.
- Emily Feld of Rosemount, Minn.—A recent graduate of Concordia College, with a degree in piano performance, Emily has been paired with Carol Barnett.
- Michael Maiorana of Minneapolis, Minn.—A Grinnell College alum who has composed for the Central Iowa Symphony, Michael has been paired with David Moore.
- Liam Moore of St. Paul, Minn.—A choral and instrumental composer, formerly commissioned by trombonist Ty Peterson and saxophonist Scottie W. Wright, and a 17-year veteran of various choral ensembles, Liam has been paired with Libby Larsen.
- Daniel Smith of St. Paul, Minn. — A music theory graduate of University of Minnesota-Duluth and current composition student at McNally Smith, Daniel has been paired with Tim Takach.
VocalEssence ReMix kicked off June 6 with a one-day workshop. Mentees and mentors gathered with VocalEssence artistic director Philip Brunelle to write short compositions to that were read by a VocalEssence Ensemble Singers quartet in a variety of musical styles.
Each mentee will next compose a three- to five-minute choral piece to be performed for choral directors by the Ensemble Singers during the ACDA-MN State Conference on Friday, November 20, 2015 from 4:25-5:25 pm at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church (900 Stillwater Road, Mahtomedi).
“Choral composition is a highly specialized field, and connecting with the right people and opportunities is key to those just starting out. ReMix gives new composers a chance to work alongside the very best in their field, and to present work to the industry’s decision-makers,” said Philip Brunelle, founder and artistic director of VocalEssence. “We think ReMix will be a big win for choral music—it will nurture new music and a new generation of talent, keeping the choral arts alive and vibrant.”
ReMix is a collaboration between VocalEssence, the American Composers Forum and ACDA-MN. For more information about the program, watch this video featuring spoken word artist—and VocalEssence composer—Dessa and ReMix mentor Tim Takach.
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”—is a leading arts organization that impacts thousands of students, singers, and composers each year through its initiative programs, contests, and support for innovative art. Regularly featured on “A Prairie Home Companion,” VocalEssence is in demand whenever choral music is required—performing with everyone from the Rolling Stones and Rufus Wainwright to James Earl Jones and the Fisk Jubilee Singers. Founded in 1969, VocalEssence has debuted more than 240 commissions and world premieres. For more information, visit www.vocalessence.org.