Stories & Results

VocalEssence Singers Of This Age Come Together for “Choosing Love” Summer Camp

Current members of VocalEssence Singers Of This Age (including a few graduating seniors) spent a week together building community, learning, and creating. The Choosing Love Creators Camp kick-started the year and was focused on creative collaboration. The first portion of the week was comprised of 15 hours of workshops led by guest artists including: Joe…  Read More

Thank you VocalEssence Interns!

VocalEssence was fortunate to have two fantastic interns this summer: Aaron Schondorf and Blake Wieseler. Each and every voice that contributes to, or participates in our mission is an essential part of our community. We are thrilled to share the projects these two have worked on during their time at VocalEssence. Aaron Schondorf, a Carleton…  Read More

Philip Brunelle featured in Choral Journal

Philip Brunelle began Musical Moments as a way to connect and bring joy to people during the pandemic, but now the catalog of composers and their works will be shared broadly through the American Choral Directors Association’s Choral Journal. Click the link below to read the article OR explore the collection of Musical Moments. Read the Article Explore…  Read More

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

“Ščedryk”, a Song for Ukraine

Our hearts are with the people of Ukraine. Please enjoy “Ščedryk”, a Ukrainian New Year’s carol by the Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovich, arranged by Philip Brunelle. This carol, traditionally sung on January 13, tells the story of a swallow flying into a house to sing of wealth that will come the following spring (you can hear the bird…  Read More

György Orbán | 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 György Orbán. György Orbán b. 1947 The Hungarian-Romanian composer György Orbán is best known for his vocal music employing avant-garde and neoclassic techniques. Born in 1947 in Marosvásárhely, he attended the Music Academy in Kolosvár…  Read More

Aaron Jay Kernis | 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 Aaron Jay Kernis. Aaron Jay Kernis b. 1960 Pulitzer Prize and Grammy-Award-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis is among the most esteemed musical figures of his generation. He began his musical studies on the violin; at…  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

Abbie Betinis | 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 Abbie Betinis. Abbie Betinis b. 1980 The music of Abbie Betinis has been heard in some of the finest concert halls in the United States, and is enjoying growing acclaim abroad.  Praised for its melodic…  Read More

Georg Schumann | 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 Georg Schumann.  Georg Schumann 1866-1952 Georg Schumann was a German composer and director of the Sing-Akademie in Berlin. He first studied the violin and organ with his father and grandfather and was taught by Friedrich…  Read More

Robert Buckley Farlee | 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 Buckley Farlee. Robert Buckley Farlee b. 1950 Minnesota composer Robert Buckley Farlee is Associate Pastor and Director of Music at Christ Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. Bob Farlee and his wife Jane Buckley-Farlee were ordained…  Read More

Melanie DeMore | 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 Melanie DeMore.   Melanie DeMore b. Prolific African-American composer Melanie DeMore was born in the Bronx, raised in Anchorage, and moved to San Antonio to complete her schooling.  “Getting off,” as DeMore calls it, on…  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

Jussi Chydenius | 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 Jussi Chydenius. Jussi Chydenius b. 1972 Finnish composer and vocalist, Jussi Chydenius is a pioneering choral composer whose music combines pop and jazz harmonies to create vital original works. Born in Helsinki, he was very…  Read More

Tomás Luis de Victoria | 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 Tomás Luis de Victoria. Tomás Luis de Victoria 1548-1611 Tomás Luis de Victoria was the most famous composer in 16th-century Spain and was one of the most influential composers of the Catholic Reformation. He was…  Read More

Steven Stucky | 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 Steven Stucky. Steven Stucky 1949-2016 Steven Stucky was a prolific Pulitzer-Prize-winning composer. At age 9, he moved with his family to Abilene, Texas, and later attended Baylor University and Cornell University where he. worked with…  Read More

Mansel Thomas | 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 Mansel Thomas. Mansel Thomas 1909-1986 Mansel Thomas was one of the most important and influential musicians of his generation in Wales. A native of South Wales, he was awarded the Rhondda Scholarship to the Royal…  Read More