United States Composers

Kurt Weill | 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 Kurt Weill. Kurt Weill 1900-1950 The German composer Kurt Weill was one of the most versatile and influential composers of musical theatre in the twentieth century. Weill began his career in the early 1920s, after…  Read More

Susan LaBarr | 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 Susan LaBarr. Susan LaBarr b. 1981 Susan LaBarr is a leading American 21st-century choral composer. She attended Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Master…  Read More

Horatio Parker | 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 Horatio Parker.  Horatio Parker 1863-1919 Horatio William Parker received his earliest musical training from his mother who instructed him in piano, organ, and music theory. He went on to study composer George Chadwick, with whom…  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

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

F. Melius Christiansen | 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 F. Melius Christiansen. F. Melius Christiansen 1871-1955 F. Melius Christiansen is an American conductor, educator, and composer of Norwegian birth known for founding and arranging music for the St. Olaf Choir. Born into a family…  Read More

William Banfield | 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 William Banfield.  William Banfield b. 1961 William Banfield is an award-winning African American composer whose symphonies, operas, and chamber works have been performed and recorded by major symphonies across the country. He received his Bachelor…  Read More

Craig Carnahan | 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 Craig Carnahan. Craig Carnahan b. 1951 Craig Carnahan is an American composer whose music has been commissioned and performed by prestigious ensembles throughout North America.  Carnahan received his B.A. from Concordia College (Moorhead, MN) and…  Read More

Cary John Franklin | 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 Cary John Franklin. Cary John Franklin b. 1956 Cary John Franklin is a nationally recognized composer with commissions and performances from many of the leading performing ensembles in the United States. Educated in Minnesota at…  Read More

Joel Thompson | 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 Joel Thompson. Joel Thompson b.1988 Joel Thompson is an Atlanta composer, pianist, conductor, and educator best known for his choral work, Seven Last Words of the Unarmed which was premiered in November 2015 by the University…  Read More

M. Searle Wright | 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 M. Searle Wright. M. Searle Wright 1918-2004 Searle Wright is an American composer and organist known for his works that church choirs in North America have been singing for more than half a century. At…  Read More

Paul Rudoi | 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 Rudoi. This episode features composer Paul Rudoi. Paul Rudoi b.1985 Paul Rudoi is an award-winning composer, conductor, tenor vocalist, and arts entrepreneur. He holds degrees from the Hartt School and the University of Oregon,…  Read More

Jennifer Higdon | 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 Jennifer Higdon. Jennifer Higdon b.1962 Jennifer Higdon is one of America’s most acclaimed and most frequently performed living composers. She is a major figure in contemporary Classical music, receiving the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Music…  Read More