VocalEssence plans ambitious ’21-22
By Rob Hubbard
Special to the Star Tribune | August 6, 2021
Christmas with J. S. Bach, a road trip with Bob Dylan and an oratorio by an alum of British rock trio the Police: That’s what VocalEssence has in store for 2021-22. The colossus among Minnesota choral organizations will be back to performing before in-person audiences, with livestreaming of each concert still available at its website. The season opens Oct. 16 at Orchestra Hall with a hopeful program featuring Minnesota Dance Theatre and music of Leonard Bernsein, Astor Piazzolla, Gabriel Kahane and a very hot choral composer, Minnesotan Kyle Pederson. Conductor Matthias Maute and the Bach Society of Minnesota join VocalEssence for Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (Dec. 3, Basilica of St. Mary) in addition to the group’s annual “Welcome Christmas” concerts Dec. 11-12. Next year’s “Witness” concerts honoring African American culture will bring a renowned choir, the Aeolians from Alabama’s Oakwood University (March 6, Orchestra Hall). Then the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers take the music of Dylan and bring it all back home on a Greater Minnesota concert tour, visiting Detroit Lakes (April 1), Grand Rapids (April 2) and Red Wing (April 30). The organization’s youth choir, Singers of This Age, will present a concert of co-created original works (Ordway Concert Hall, April 24). Then the season concludes with the regional premiere of “Satan’s Fall,” by Police drummer Stewart Copeland (May 8, Central Lutheran Church, Mpls.). Season tickets go on sale Aug. 23, with single tickets available Sept. 17. Details can be found at vocalessence.org.