Artistic Director Philip Brunelle and Associate Conductor G. Phillip Shoultz, III are hard at work this month preparing for a multitude of upcoming performances.
The month of February is filled with rehearsals for our next concert, Call of the North; how wonderful to have the Ensemble Singers back together! The concert (to be aired on March 28) includes the music of 10 Minnesota composers and 5 Minnesota poets, with each of the poets reading from their own writing. As you can imagine, the music of the 10 composers is varied and delightful – and we are filming in a new venue…the IDS Crystal Court!
Another big event this month will occur on February 24 when Philip celebrates the 200th Musical Moment. “I am amazed that so many composers have been feature and all of them having had their music heard on a VocalEssence concert or Plymouth Church service…or both! I am indebted to son Tim who has been my videographer from Day #1; he felt that the 200th program should feature several composers who have never been part of VocalEssence or Plymouth…and never will be! So, tune in to hear some ‘unique’ music that day!”
G. Phillip Shoultz, III
Phillip hit the ground running in 2021 with the premiere of the second concert in the VESOTA series, Believe and also in returning to serve as artistic director, curator, and host for the University of Minnesota Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Concert. This year’s program marked the 40th Anniversary of the program and Phillip’s adaptation to the virtual format was well received as the video received well over 3,000 views on the YouTube and Facebook platforms.
He continues to convene and facilitate conversations around access, equity, inclusion, and diversity in the arts with colleagues, leaders, and singers from all across the country, including upcoming training sessions that he will lead with the ACDA-MN Board of Directors and lectures that he will present for Temple University, the University of Oregon, the Newburyport Choral Society, and NATS Boston.
The month of February also brings with it two presentations for the Minnesota Music Educators Association Mid-Winter Conference, leading a Daily Sing session for the Chorus America February Conference, and an unexpected return to the podium for the Minnesota All-State Choirs, where Phillip was called in at “the eleventh hour” to create a meaningful virtual experience for the students.
Phillip is most proud of the newest venture for the daily livestream, Take 5 with GPS, which is highlighting Black genius by sharing the stories of amazing individuals whose inventions and creativity have positively impacted our way of life, even though we hear very little about their work. 28 Days of Black Excellence has resonated with the public as viewership for the 300+ episode show has increased dramatically since the beginning of this series.