VocalEssence performed with the Rolling Stones on stage during their one-night-only performance June 3 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, a stop on the 15-city North American ZIP CODE Tour. VocalEssence Artistic Director and Founder Philip Brunelle and Associate Conductor Phillip Shoultz both conducted.
“It was an amazing experience,” Philip Brunelle told MPR News, when 24 VocalEssence singers “joined the Stones for a gorgeous ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ that ended with a gospel flourish,” as described in a St. Paul Pioneer Press review.
When asked during a MinnPost interview whether the time onstage with the Stones was long or short, Philip Brunelle replied, “It was a short eight minutes. Oh, my word! To get out there in front of 50,000 people! You’ve seen pictures of everyone up on their feet and waving. It was amazing!
“But the thing that was especially heartwarming for me was they wanted a choir there. [Before last night], some people in the audience might have thought that choir was only something to hear in church or in a high school concert,” Philip said. “The great thing about choral music is, if you’re a flexible group like VocalEssence, you can do all kinds of things. This was just one of them.”