Cultural Competency

VocalEssence has a long history of advocating for singing together, which is evident in our actions in the community. We recognize emerging high school talent through our apprentice programs. Talented choral leaders in our school communities receive awards for groundbreaking work. Our staff serves in leadership roles in Minnesota Citizens for the Arts. And VocalEssence supports emerging composers through commissioning and premiering new works.

Bridging the Cultural Divide

  • When it comes to 4th grade National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test scores, Minnesota kids overall rank fifth or sixth from the top. But when it comes to the gap between black and white students, Minnesota is fifth or sixth from the bottom.
  • According to the Minnesota State Demographic Center, minority students, especially at young ages, are becoming the majority.
  • Teens who participate in music education programs see music as “social glue,” as a bridge for building acceptance and tolerance for people of different ages and cultural circumstances.
  • As the public face of the immigrant group, arts can enhance understanding and tolerance, easing the incorporation of present and future immigrants. This tolerance pays dividends in job and housing markets, social networks and many other realms of community life.