VocalEssence WITNESS School Program

The VocalEssence WITNESS School Program is an exciting opportunity for Minnesota students and teachers to learn more about the contributions African Americans have made, and are making, to the fine arts.

In 2019-2020, VocalEssence WITNESS: Blooming with Creativity is a multi-disciplinary celebration of the creative spirit in honor of the 30th Anniversary of the program! The program will highlight the multi-faceted gifts of our VocalEssence Teaching Artists through a biographical exploration of their journey and introduction to the artistic figures and inspirations that have helped shape their lives as artists.

Each partner school is able to take advantage of three program components that provide an enriching integrative experience for both students and teachers:

Artist Workshops

Students and teachers are given the opportunity to interact with one of our VocalEssence Teaching Artists. Teaching Artists explore the yearly program theme through their artistic discipline, creating an integrative academic experience for students combining the study of African American culture with art, music, social studies, literature, character building, and other areas of school curriculum.

Young People’s Concerts

The musical component of the curriculum focuses on works composed specifically for this 30th Anniversary year of the program, including two pieces commissioned specially for this concert, “Deep Roots” and a new arrangement of the spiritual, “Witness” by the talented young composer, Joel Thompson. The Young People’s Concerts will also feature the VocalEssence Teaching Artists performing alongside the VocalEssence Singers Of This Age, members of the VocalEssence Chorus, along with other special guests, and will include video clips of original works created by students from our participating schools.

Teacher Resources

Teachers will be provided with resources and opportunities to learn about well-known African American artists across various disciplines through the VocalEssence WITNESS Teacher Orientation and Teacher Resource Guide.

VocalEssence WITNESS: Blooming with Creativity builds upon the roots of artists who have inspired and paved the way for new legacies of artistic creation to flower and blossom.

For more information about the school program, contact VocalEssence Program Manager Robert Graham at robert@vocalessence.org, or 612-547-1458. To sign up as a VocalEssence WITNESS Partner School, click the link below and follow the instructions to reserve your school’s spot in the program.