In the Media

VocalEssence’s Brunelle gets award from Mexican government


VocalEssence artistic director Philip Brunelle will get more than the usual applause at the vocal group’s concert on Tuesday. During the concert, Brunelle will receive the Ohti Recognition Award from the government of Mexico.

The award goes annually to a civilian living outside the country “for contributions made to the empowerment of Mexican and Mexican-American communities in the United States.”

Previous winners of the Ohtli Award include Hilda Solís, United States Secretary of Labor, and Mónica Lozano, publisher of the Los Angeles newspaper La Opinión.

The award recognizes VocalEssence’s “¡Cantare!,” a program designed to bring the talents of composers from Mexico directly into Minnesota classrooms. Mexican composers Horacio Uribe and Lilia Vazquez met with young singers from six Twin Cities area schools and youth choirs, sought their ideas, then wrote works for each of the groups that will be premiered at Tuesday’s concert.

The VocalEssence Chorus and Ensemble Singers also will perform more works by the two composers at the concert. 7 p.m.; Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, 345 Washington St., St. Paul; free (tickets required); 651-224-4222 or

— Pioneer Press