1969 to 2019

Founded by Philip Brunelle in 1969, the groundbreaking organization that grew into VocalEssence inspires new voices in singing groups in the United States and around the world. One of our first acts was to invite a living composer to conduct a concert of his own works. The result was a once-in-a-lifetime performance with Aaron Copland, who openly wondered why no one else had thought to ask him to conduct his music for choir.

Philip Brunelle and Aaron Copland

Throughout our first five decades, we have unceasingly given access to and nurtured new voices through composer festivals, commissions, presenting choirs from around the world, cross-cultural education programs, free tickets to students and seniors, the creation of our new youth choir VocalEssence Singers Of This Age, and many more.

Yet, we still have unfinished business. We challenge ourselves to change the face of our organization by continuing to give access to new voices in our audiences, programming, and artists. We believe there is a place for everyone’s voice in the human choir, and that combined sound is more beautiful than anything we could have imagined. We know our next 50 years will inspire others as much, or even more, than our first 50 years.