Where in the World are the Conductors – August 2018

Artistic Director Philip Brunelle has had a whirlwind summer (nothing unusual!) beginning in early June with a trip to New York City meeting with Nico Muhly, composer of the new cantata being written for our Welcome Christmas concerts. The visit also included meetings with several composers and interviews about the upcoming 50th anniversary season. Then it was off to the Chorus America conference in Chicago and a return to Minnesota for several 75th birthday celebrations for him.

With daughter Elise and family here from Cape Town, South Africa they took a ‘road trip’ to the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore for a week. The last week of July found Philip in Tallinn, Estonia for a Baltic choral conference and an opportunity to meet new Baltic composers. Of course, planning for the coming season as well as the 51st season has been non-stop and now the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers are preparing for their trip to Mexico City, an invitation from the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería. This amazing week will include a performance of music of USA composers as well as several VocalEssence ¡Cantaré! programs at the Auditorio Blas Galindo and three performances of the Beethoven Symphony #9 at the legendary Palacio de Bellas Artes and the Sala Nezahualcóyotl. Philip will conduct Brahms’ motet “Schaffe in mir Gott” and Carlos Miguel Prieto will conduct the combined Mexican and Minnesota singers in the Beethoven symphony.

This summer took Associate Conductor G. Phillip Shoultz, III “on the road again” for a series of presentations and appearances across the country. Phillip began the summer in Texas, at the Mo-Ranch Conference on Worship and Music, where he directed a youth choir and presented sessions on developing choral programs for young people. From there, Phillip traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada to serve as a featured presenter at the National Association of Teachers in Singing Conference where he led the 800 convention attendees in the first ever Community Sing-a-long during the Opening Ceremony.

Before that, Phillip served as a facilitator for a four-hour workshop, “Harnessing Music’s Superpowers to Heal, Change, and Unite.” Chicago was the next destination for Phillip, where he presented New Choral Performance Models for Young People at the invitation of Chorus America. In July, Phillip traveled with his family to Ashville, North Carolina to lead the Adult Choir for Music Week at Lutheridge. With yet another adventurous summer almost in the books, Phillip is preparing for two final trips. Next week, he travels to Sioux Falls, South Dakota to lead the Concert Choir of the national-renown Roosevelt High School choral program in retreat. Then, in early September he flies to Anchorage, Alaska to train Teaching Artists for the Lullaby Project.