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A Ukrainian Prayer

There are times where it is difficult to know how to respond to tragedy. On the evening of Ash Wednesday, composer John Rutter heard Valentin Silvestrov’s choral setting of the following text, “Good Lord, protect Ukraine. Give her strength, courage, faith, hope. Amen.” He decided to use his talents to compose his own setting of…  Read More

EVENT: Music Lives Here, Preparing for Re-Entry Part 1

Feb 7 @ 4:19 pm

Join us on Thursday to see a online rehearsal demonstration to prepare you for upcoming rehearsals this fall. Zoom Information Meeting ID: 980 7775 6921 Password: musiclives Dial by your location +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago) Background A day of new possibilities began on Monday, May 11 as representatives from ACDA-MN (Diane Heaney,…  Read More

VocalEssence On Instagram Archive – April 2020

Musical Moments with Philip Brunelle – April 30, 2020 – Ian Kellam Musical Moments with Philip Brunelle – April 29, 2020 – Oliver Messiaen     Musical Moments with Philip Brunelle – April 28, 2020 – John Gardner VocalEssence & Nation – “Hands” 4/27/2019 Musical Moments with Philip Brunelle – April 27, 2020 – Gabriel…  Read More

Paul Manz

Paul Manz | 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 Paul Manz. Paul Manz 1919-2009 Composer and organist Paul Manz is known for his widely-admired motet “E’en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come” and for the hymn festivals he organized and led. Manz attended Concordia River…  Read More

VocalEssence on Instagram

Ysaÿe M. Barnwell | Musical Moments with Philip Brunelle Musical Moments with Philip Brunelle – August 7, 2020 – Moses Hogan André Thomas | Musical Moments with Philip Brunelle Steve Heitzeg | Musical Moments with Philip Brunelle Randall Davidson | Musical Moments with Philip Brunelle   Timothy Takach | Musical Moments with Philip Brunelle Dominick…  Read More

Where in the World are the Conductors – June 2019

Artistic Director Philip Brunelle just returned from England meeting with John Rutter, Sir Stephen Cleobury (just knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours), Simon Halsey and Katie Rowan—the person helping us with the U.S. premiere in October of Ina Boyle’s music. He and his wife Carolyn also enjoyed a week’s vacation in Wales and on the…  Read More

50th Anniversary Season Highlights

In the Beginning by Aaron Copland Click here to download song When Music Sounds by John Rutter Click here to download song Daniel, Daniel, Servant of the Lord by Undine Smith Moore Click here to download song Don’t You Let Nobody arr. Kevin Johnson Click here to download song Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright by…  Read More

Where in the World are the Conductors – May 2019

For Artistic Director Philip Brunelle, the end of the concert season with our Bob Dylan tribute was a festive conclusion to season 50! Now we are in the midst of finalizing plans for season 51 and beyond. The month of May is also filled with auditions – about 50 hours’ worth. Each year those in…  Read More

10 best concerts to mark the holidays in choir-crazed Minnesota

By Terry Blain | Special to the Star Tribune November 30, 2018 — 2:52PM: With so many Minnesota choirs, it can be difficult selecting the perfect concert. Here are 10 great options for the holidays. Minnesota is known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but music lovers have floated a new state motto: Land of 10,000…  Read More

Holidays have plenty of sweets — sweet vocal harmonies, that is

By Rob Hubbard November 24, 2018—9:00AM | UPDATED: November 28, 2018—12:28PM: If Yuletide carols being sung by a choir sounds like your ideal holiday elixir, then this is the December for you in the Twin Cities. Vocal harmonies abound, as all of our best groups have their own concerts … and a couple of them hook up…  Read More

Philip Brunelle Reveals the Magic that Makes Commissions Come Together

Since 1973, when the first commission by VocalEssence led Dominick Argento to compose Jonah and the Whale, the organization has ardently supported new music. More than 300 commissions later, VocalEssence Artistic Director and Founder Philip Brunelle explains how commissioning works. Why does VocalEssence commission so much original work? Just as we don’t want to lose sight of the composers…  Read More

2018 Welcome Christmas Carol Contest Composers Announced

VocalEssence is pleased to announce the following winners of the 21st annual VocalEssence Welcome Christmas Carol Contest. Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all who applied. Sponsored by the American Composers Forum and VocalEssence, the contest is open to composers of all ages, and this season composers were asked to write a carol…  Read More

Choral legend lands in Minnesota with music composed especially for VocalEssence

By Terry Blain Special to the Star Tribune APRIL 19, 2018 — 11:49AM Englishman John Rutter is a phenomenon in the world of choral music, celebrated worldwide for the easy melodiousness of his music — and the joy it brings to those who sing it. His Minnesota connections date back more than three decades, to…  Read More

Where in the World are the Conductors—April 2018

Spring holds so many incredible musical moments for the VocalEssence team, with new and old voices joining in! Associate Conductor G. Phillip Shoultz, III and his family are delighted to announce they welcomed a new member—Lydia Grace. Born on Wednesday, March 21 at 7:13 am, Lydia joins brother Malachi (4). Check out the VocalEssence Facebook…  Read More

Where in the World are the Conductors—February 2018

Our conductors had a great time with VocalEssence WITNESS: Of Such I Dream and the debut of the new youth choir, VocalEssence Singers Of This Age (SOTA). But there’s always another adventure around the corner for Artistic Director Philip Brunelle and Associate Conductor G. Phillip Shoultz, III. Philip Brunelle will be escaping to warmer quarters…  Read More