Stories & Results

VocalEssence WITNESS School Program instructs and inspires

This year, 49 partner schools are participating in the VocalEssence WITNESS School Program, which began with the annual Teacher Orientation Seminar in September and continues through workshops and residencies with our Teaching Artists. The theme, “Let Freedom Ring,” focused on the contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., his lifelong promotion of racial equality through…  Read More

Sanford Moore receives VocalEssence Reatha Clark King Award

Congratulations to pianist, composer, arranger and producer Sanford Moore, who received the Reatha Clark King Award on Sunday, February 8 at the VocalEssence WITNESS: Let Freedom Ring concert at Orchestra Hall and was presented with a one-of-a-kind work of art created by past WITNESS Teaching Artist Ta-Coumba Aiken.  The Reatha Clark King Award for Excellence…  Read More

Thank you for joining us on Arts Advocacy Day; voice your support for music education

On Arts Advocacy Day, February 19, VocalEssence staff members gathered with like-minded art lovers and shared with legislators the importance of the arts to our lives, communities and economy. Senator Bill Weber from southwestern Minnesota was one of many legislators visited by arts advocates including Katrina Wallmeyer, director of development and communications at VocalEssence, pictured…  Read More

Videos featuring Dessa with VocalEssence have national debut

Two videos featuring hip-hop artist Dessa performing with VocalEssence at the Made in Minnesota concert in October have debuted on the National Public Radio website. “Skeleton Key” was written by Dessa, and “The Good Fight” was written by Dessa and Andy Thompson; both were conducted by Tesfa Wondemagegnehu. “When Dessa reworks her songs with the…  Read More

Introducing VocalEssence ReMix: Dessa, Tim Takach urge music makers to apply for mentorships

  Dessa and Remix Composer-Mentor Tim Takach share their excitement about VocalEssence ReMix, a new program that offers up to four talented composers/songwriters a six-month one-on-one composer mentorship as they each write a choral work suitable for high school and college-level choirs. “If you make music, you compose, and you should consider applying for one…  Read More

REVIEW: Welcome Christmas new work and traditional carols are ‘highlights of the Christmas choral season’

If you are wondering what you missed during the first weekend of Welcome Christmas concerts, these two reviews will fill you in and inspire you to attend one of this weekend’s performances. “The highlight of this holiday season’s choral concerts will likely be A Light in the Stable, by English composer Alan Bullard, written expressly…  Read More

Folk Fiddler Sara Pajunen Invites You to a Welcome Christmas Alight with Nordic Theme and Premieres

Sara Pajunen, who describes herself in this video as a “violinist and fiddler of Finnish-American ancestry,” shares why she is excited to be part of the upcoming Welcome Christmas concerts. It should come as no surprise, since the program celebrates Scandinavian and Nordic yuletide traditions with carols from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. You can…  Read More

¡Cantaré! program expands to Rochester, produces new video

VocalEssence has won an Arts Learning grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board to expand our ¡Cantaré! program to Rochester, Minnesota. This means that several schools and community choirs in Rochester will have three-week residencies with Mexican composers Rodrigo Cadet and Novelli Jurado, and will host a Community Concert with VocalEssence. Rodrigo will be working with…  Read More

Youthful Excellence: Francisco J. Núñez and the Young People’s Chorus of New York City® Will Engage Twin Cities on Many Levels

You may have seen them on national television—“From the Top at Carnegie Hall,” NBC’s Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting, and “Good Morning America” for starters. And their founder and conductor, MacArthur “genius” Fellow Francisco J. Núñez, was recently profiled on Fox & Friends and interviewed on a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Art Works Media…  Read More

DONOR SPOTLIGHT: John Nuechterlein Reflects on the Ties that Bind American Composers Forum and VocalEssence

If John Nuechterlein’s organization, the American Composers Forum (ACF), resembles in any way, shape or form the one founded by Philip Brunelle at VocalEssence, that’s probably not completely accidental. The symmetry between the two men—and the non-profits—is striking if not remarkable. And, of course, musically correct. One might even say that the Composers Forum is…  Read More

Ensemble Singers Wow–and Are Wowed!–on Asia Pacific Tour

On their most recent international tour, the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers traveled to Seoul, South Korea, to attend the 10th World Symposium on Choral Music as part of the VocalEssence Asia Pacific Tour, August 9 – 13. In Seoul they performed for an audience of 7,500 at the Nyungsung Presbyterian Church service, singing “Amazing Grace” with…  Read More