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Weekend Picks: First-ever Twin Cities Art Week, events at Penumbra and the Capri, Chihuly, Queen Sonja of Norway’s visit

By Sheila Regan MinnPost | October 13, 2022 https://www.minnpost.com/artscape/2022/10/weekend-picks-first-ever-twin-cities-art-week-events-at-penumbra-and-the-capri-chihuly-queen-sonja-of-norways-visit/ It’s the Twin Cities Art Week this week, a new festival of sorts where all kinds of galleries and museums are spiffed up with special events. Plus a lot more. It’s the Twin Cities Art Week this week, a new festival of sorts where all kinds of…  Read More

Singers posing on stage

The Mendelssohns Digital Concert Program

FEATURING: VocalEssence Chorus VocalEssence Ensemble Singers VocalEssence Singers Of This Age Nicholas Chalmers, tenor Maria Jette, soprano High School Festival Choir featuring singers from: Albert Lea High School, Diane Heaney, director Robbinsdale-Armstrong High School, Stephanie Trump & Corey Cellurale, directors St . Michael Albertville High School, Joe Osowski & Paige Armstrong, directors Mary Jo Gothmann,…

VocalEssence Welcomes Six New Board Members

VocalEssence is thrilled to announce the addition of six new members to its Board of Directors. The VocalEssence Board of Directors serve as ambassadors for the organization in the larger community. They also guide VocalEssence in all major policy decisions while ensuring the financial stability of the 54-year-old nonprofit. “I’m delighted to welcome our new…

Where in the World Are the Conductors? August 2022

Philip Brunelle: The summer months have been fascinating for Philip Brunelle, VocalEssence Founder and Artistic Director–not only the time devoted to planning and studying repertoire for the upcoming 54th season, but also time in Europe and concerts at home. The end of June found Philip and his wife Carolyn in Stockholm visiting friends and meeting with…

CELEBRATE MUSICAL SIBLINGS FELIX AND FANNY WITH VOCALESSENCE 2022-23 SEASON OPENER—“THE MENDELSSOHNS” 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  CONTACT:  Jennifer Weismann  612-716-0556  Jennifer@owl-marketing.com  CELEBRATE MUSICAL SIBLINGS FELIX AND FANNY WITH VOCALESSENCE 2022-23 SEASON OPENER—“THE MENDELSSOHNS”  Two prolific Romantic-era composers, one extraordinary program of music—October 15  MINNEAPOLIS—August 1, 2022—This fall, VocalEssence will feature compositions by siblings Felix Mendelssohn and Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel side by side in a single program, The Mendelssohns. The…  Read More

Behind the Music—Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn

Across the history of Western classical music, rarely do we find two major composers whose journeys toward artistic maturity were as closely intertwined as Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn’s. Born just over three years apart (Fanny on November 14, 1805, Felix on February 3, 1809), they were the oldest of four children born to Abraham and…

Stewart Copeland

VocalEssence Perform Choir Composition by The Police’s Stewart Copeland

by Steve Marsh Mpls.St.Paul Magazine | May 7, 2022 https://mspmag.com/arts-and-culture/police-drummer-stewart-copeland-vocalessence/  The Police drummer Stewart Copeland is in St. Paul this weekend for the regional premiere of his new chorale piece inspired by Paradise Lost. Courtesy of Shayne Gray Stewart Copeland is in St. Paul this weekend to debut his new chorale piece Satan’s Fall, sung by the vaunted VocalEssence…  Read More

Stewart Copeland

The Police’s drummer heads to Minneapolis to deliver a message in an oratorio

By Jon Bream Star Tribune | May 05, 2022 https://m.startribune.com/the-police-stewart-copeland-minneapolis-oratorio-sting-vocalessence-mall-of-america-andy-summers/600170658/?clmob=y&c=n Stewart Copeland is going choral with VocalEssence and says no more Police reunions. Stewart Copeland has written scores for movies and TV shows, composed operas and oratorios and music for ballets and video games. He’s directed a rockumentary, authored a memoir and performed with orchestras. This year,…  Read More

Singers posing on stage

Choosing Love Concert Program

The Program  VocalEssence Singers Of This Age G. Phillip Shoultz, III, conductor, piano Sam Reeves, keyboard Brian Kendrick, drums Choosing Love is a collaboratively curated concert experience developed through a season of continuous learning and conversation. The VocalEssence Singers Of This Age challenge us to grapple with the past and present injustices plaguing our society…

Satan falling with clouds and beams of light

Satan’s Fall Biographies

Jamie Chamberlain, soprano Praised for her “shimmering tones” and “star­ struck vulnerability” by Opera News, Greek-­American Soprano Jamie Chamberlin is recognized for her versatility as both a singer and as an actress. ArtsInLA hailed her role debut as Cunegonde in Long Beach Operaʼs Candide as “jaw­dropping”. Most recently at LBO, Ms. Chamberlin earned rave reviews for her…

In loving memory of Sigrid Johnson (1952—2022)

So many thoughts fill my mind thinking of dear Sigrid, affectionately known to all singers as “Ears Johnson” for she truly had the most amazing way of discerning the sound of each individual voice. For 24 years at VocalEssence she was my colleague, my musical conscience, a joyful supporter for a great realm of music,…

Celebrating Black Choral Music All Year Long

Mike Rowan  Chorus America | February 25, 2022 https://chorusamerica.org/node/17948 Black History Month was first celebrated in 1924 as “Negro History Week,” founded by Black historian Carter G. Woodson with the aim that Black students in particular would be formally taught about their own heritage and the contributions of African Americans in their schools. As Black History Month…  Read More

Performers pivoted and voices rose, sounding notes of optimism on the classical scene

By Rob Hubbard Special to the Star Tribune | December 23, 2021 https://www.startribune.com/performers-pivoted-and-voices-rose-sounding-notes-of-optimism-on-the-classical-scene/600129797/  KYNDELL HARKNESS, STAR TRIBUNE G. Phillip Shoultz III led a rehearsal for the “Voices Rising” concert. 1. “Voices Rising: A Choral Affirmation of Black Lives,” June 16: VocalEssence’s G. Phillip Shoultz III led singers from 12 Twin Cities choirs in a powerful program of new…  Read More

Robert L. Morris | Musical Moments with Philip Brunelle

In this Musical Moment, VocalEssence artistic director and founder Philip Brunelle shares insider information and beautiful music by the composer Robert L. Morris Robert L. Morris b. 1941 Robert L. Morris, a well-published American composer and arranger, was Director of Choral Activities at Macalester. He holds degrees from DePaul University, Indiana University, and The University…  Read More

Bobby McFerrin | Musical Moments with Philip Brunelle

In this Musical Moment, VocalEssence artistic director and founder Philip Brunelle shares insider information and beautiful music by the composer Bobby McFerrin. Bobby McFerrin b. 1950 American composer and vocalist Bobby McFerrin is perhaps best-known for his piece, Don’t Worry, Be Happy. Born in Manhattan, Bobby came from a family of singers: Bobby’s father, the…  Read More