Stories & Results

Alice H. Parker | 28 Days of Black Excellence

  On this episode we explore the contributions of inventor of central heating using natural gas, Alice H. Parker. Our musical pairing is “Heatwave” by Brian & Edward Holland, Lamont Dozier, made popular by Martha and the Vandellas. Alice H. Parker (1895-1920) Notable Achievements:Very little is known about Alice Parker’s life. She attended classes at…  Read More

Igor Stravinsky | 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 Igor Stravinsky.  Igor Stravinsky 1882-1971 Igor Stravinsky was a Russian-born composer whose work had a revolutionary impact on music before and after World War I and whose compositions are examples of modernism within the music…  Read More

Dr. Patricia Bath | 28 Days of Black Excellence

On this Monday episode we explore the contributions of Dr. Patricia Bath, Ophthalmologist, Inventor, Humanitarian, and educator, who invented the laser cataract surgery called the Lazerphaco Probe. Our musical pairing is “I’ll Be Seeing You,” by Sammy Fain and Irving Kahal. Dr. Patricia Bath (1942-2019) Notable Achievements: Dr. Patricia Bath discovered and invented a new…  Read More

George Washington Carver | 28 Days of Black Excellence

On this Sunday edition of Take 5, GPS continues our exploration of Black Excellence by highlighting the contributions of well-known figures. George Washington Carver is regarded is the most influential African American scientist of the early 20th century, with well over 100 inventions credited to his work. Gospel music icon, Rev. James Cleveland, inspires and…  Read More

Arthur B. Jennings | 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 Arthur B. Jennings. Arthur B. Jennings 1887-1972 Arthur B. Jennings, known to many as “Herr” Jennings, was an American composer and organist known for his work at Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis. The son of…  Read More

Jester Hairston | 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 Jester Hairston.  Jester Hairston 1901-2000 Jester Hairston was an American actor, composer, songwriter, arranger, choral conductor, Goodwill Ambassador, and expert on Spirituals. He was born in Belews Creek, North Carolina, the grandson of a slave,…  Read More

Carl Heinrich Graun | 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 Carl Heinrich Graun.  Carl Heinrich Graun 1704-1759 Carl Heinrich Graun was a German composer of operas and sacred music, known especially for his Passion oratorio Der Tod Jesu. Graun was a chorister in Dresden, and…  Read More

Coreen Duffy | 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 Coreen Duffy. Coreen Duffy b. 1976 Dr. Coreen Duffy is the Interim Director of Choral Activities at the University of Montana School of Music, where she conducts the Chamber Chorale, Cantemus Women’s Choir, and University…  Read More

Thea Musgrave | 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 Thea Musgrave. Thea Musgrave b. 1928 Rich and powerful musical language and a strong sense of drama make Scottish-American composer Thea Musgrave one of the most respected contemporary composers in the Western world. Born in…  Read More

FREE Subscriptions for Latinx Community | Suscripciones GRATUITAS para la comunidad Latina

This season VocalEssence is offering our family-friendly programing FREE to the local Latinx community, including our on demand, one-of-a-kind performances that are exclusive to the new website VocalEssence On Demand. For more than five decades, VocalEssence has used singing to connect people across cultures. 13 years ago, we worked with the Latinx community to create…  Read More

George Crum | 28 Days of Black Excellence

On today’s episode of 28 Days of Black Excellence we feature inventor and chef George Crum (originally George Speck), credited with inventing the potato chip. Our musical pairing is “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, made popular by Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight, and the Pips. George Crum aka George…  Read More

Harriet Powers | 28 Days of Black Excellence

On today’s episode of 28 Days of Black Excellence we feature American folk artist and quilter, Harriet Powers, who weaved stories into her art to pass stories to future generations. Our musical pairing is “We are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder,” a traditional Negro Spiritual by a hidden figure. Harriet Powers (1837-1910) Notable Achievements: Although not recognized during…  Read More

Katherine Johnson | 28 Days of Black Excellence

  On today’s episode of 28 Days of Black Excellence we feature famous mathematician Katherine Johnson, whose mathematical calculations helped send Apollo 11 to the moon. Our musical pairing is “I Got a Robe,” a traditional Negro Spiritual. Katherine Johnson (1918-2020) Notable Achievements: Presidential Medal of Freedom, Silver Snoopy award, NASA Group Achievement Award, Congressional…  Read More

Dr. Percy Lavon Julian | 28 Days of Black Excellence

  On today’s episode of 28 Days of Black Excellence we feature Dr. Percy Lavon Julian. Despite considerable persecution due to segregation and racism throughout his life, Percy Julian became a steroid chemist and an entrepreneur who ingeniously figured out how to synthesize important medicinal compounds from abundant plant sources, making them more affordable to…  Read More