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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,…

VocalEssence Associate Conductor Sigrid Johnson announces retirement

CONTACT: Mary Ann Aufderheide 612-547-1454  VOCALESSENCE ASSOCIATE CONDUCTOR ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT Sigrid Johnson steps down at end of 2014-2015 Season MINNEAPOLIS—February 23, 2015—VocalEssence, one of the world’s premier choral music organizations, announces today that its long-time associate conductor, Sigrid Johnson, will be retiring from the organization at the end of the 2014-2015 season. Johnson has…  Read More

VocalEssence Announces 2023-2024 Season: “Together We Sing”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Jennifer Weismann 612-716-0556 VOCALESSENCE ANNOUNCES 2023-2024  SEASON: “TOGETHER WE SING” VocalEssence will not slow down in season 55 with a celebration of longstanding musical partnerships. MINNEAPOLIS—May 12, 2023—VocalEssence, one of the world’s premier choral music organizations, is gearing up for its “speed limit” season—55 years of making music and celebrating the joy…  Read More

VocalEssence sounds festive at 50th anniversary concert

by Terry Blain October 8, 2018: Review: A high-energy anniversary concert revisited the ensemble’s greatest hits. In the beginning, there was Aaron Copland. Fifty years ago, Philip Brunelle invited the iconic American composer to conduct his newly formed choir at Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis. The great composer accepted. And the rest, as they say, is…  Read More

In Honor of the VocalEssence 50th Anniversary by Catherine Dehoney, President of Chorus America

I’m Catherine Dehoney, President of Chorus America, the research, professional development, and advocacy organization for choruses in North America. Philip asked me to keep my remarks “short and profound, like the Gettysburg Address”.  I’m not sure I can achieve ‘profound’, so I’ll try for ‘short’! Two score and 10 years ago, Philip Brunelle brought forth…  Read More

VocalEssence Announces New Associate Conductor

CONTACT: Jennifer Weismann 612-716-0556 VOCALESSENCE ANNOUNCES NEW ASSOCIATE CONDUCTOR Phillip Shoultz III takes on novel leadership role as the choral group’s first full-time Associate Conductor MINNEAPOLIS—May 19, 2015— VocalEssence, the Minneapolis-based choral organization, has selected G. Phillip Shoultz III as its new Associate Conductor—a newly created full-time position. He replaces part-time VocalEssence Associate Conductor…  Read More

VocalEssence Announces New Full-Time Associate Conductor

We are very excited and honored to announce today a wonderful addition to our VocalEssence team. G. Phillip Shoultz, III will be joining Philip Brunelle as the new full-time Associate Conductor of VocalEssence this July. This is an expanded position with our organization, one that we hope will have far-reaching impact on both VocalEssence and…  Read More

VocalEssence goes local for season opener of heavy hitters

CONTACT: Jennifer Weismann 612-716-0556 HAIL! MINNESOTA, LAND OF 10,000 LAKES, CHOIRS — AND COMPOSERS VocalEssence opens 46th season with Made in Minnesota, including premiere from hip hop artist Dessa and debut of Dominick Argento’s latest opus MINNEAPOLIS—August 20, 2014—Minneapolis-based choral ensemble VocalEssence is going local for its 46th season opener Made in Minnesota, a concert…  Read More

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 VocalEssence. Board Officers Carolina Gustafson, President Program Manager, Institute for Advanced Study, University of Minnesota Torrie Allen, Vice President President and CEO, Arts Midwest Daniel Fernelius,…  Read More

2014-2015 Announcement: VocalEssence Brings It Home for 46th Season

CONTACT: Jennifer Weismann 612-716-0556 Twin Cities choral organization announces season of fresh collaborations, including choral premiere from hip hop artist Dessa — and a tribute to P.D.Q. Bach MINNEAPOLIS — March 21, 2014 —Acclaimed Minneapolis-based choral ensemble VocalEssence — recognized internationally for its innovative explorations of music — announces a captivating 46th season of concerts.…  Read More

Singers welcome at VocalEssence “Community Sings”

Sing with Vocalessence— no audition required! Advance registration for this event is now closed. On-site registration will open at 1:30pm on Sunday, November 13th. We look forward to seeing you there! This fall, VocalEssence is offering two “Community Sings” where the public is invited to sing in a casual setting with conductors Sigrid Johnson and Philip…  Read More

WITNESS: ANDRÉ THOMAS – Concert recording available from Instant Encore

DOWNLOAD NOW FROM INSTANT ENCORE VocalEssence, The St. Olaf Choir and three Minnesota High School Choirs — Central High School (Saint Paul); Hastings High School and Washburn High School (Minneapolis) — are featured in a new live concert recording available exclusively by download from Instant Encore. “WITNESS – André Thomas” was recorded in concert at…  Read More

Auditions to be held for the 2010-2011 VocalEssence Chorus & Ensemble Singers

Minneapolis, Minn. (March 5, 2010) – VocalEssence, the award-winning choral ensemble based in Minneapolis, announces singer auditions for the 2010-2011 concert season. Openings are available in all voice parts for the 100-voice volunteer VocalEssence Chorus and the 32-voice professional VocalEssence Ensemble Singers. Auditions will be held Sunday, April 25; Saturday, May 1; Sunday, May 2;…  Read More