Summer has arrived and the level of activity at VocalEssence has not diminished for Artistic Director and Founder Philip Brunelle! All the planning for season 54 continues and is very exciting!
A 5 year project has been completed and Philip is very pleased to announce that the two volume set of Stephen Paulus “Aria Collection” has been published by Schott Publishing. After Stephen passed away his family asked if he would assist in editing arias from his 11 operas for a collection–which became two volumes: one for soprano, mezzo-soprano and alto, and another for tenor, baritone and bass. These arias will now be a resource for young singers as well as for voice teachers and professional artists.
The annual Chorus America conference was held in Baltimore, MD June 15-17, an important opportunity to meet colleagues in the field and exchange ideas. Philip was pleased that his recommendation nominating Ysaÿe Barnwell for the Chorus America Distinguished Service Award was accepted! Ysaÿe (a founder of Sweet Honey in the Rock and a composer whose music has been featured numerous times with VocalEssence) is most deserving of this award as one of the inspirational leaders in the area of community singing in the USA.
At the end of June, Philip and his wife, Carolyn, will travel to Stockholm, Sweden to visit longtime friends whom they first met while singing in a choir that toured to Europe in 1963. While they are there Philip will meet with Benny Andersson, the founder of ABBA and composer of the musical Kristina which VocalEssence presented at Orchestra Hall with Benny and the original cast in 1996; it would be wonderful to have him return to Minnesota!
Philip and Carolyn then will vacation for 2 weeks in France–Paris, Dijon and the Burgundy region…their first extended vacation since the pandemic.
G. Phillip Shoultz, III:
Associate Artistic Director G. Phillip Shoultz, III (GPS) is thrilled to be presenting workshops and conducting at the National Conference of the American Harp Association in Sioux Falls, SD. After his time in South Dakota, he will be leading singers from VocalEssence and the community in preparations to participate in the Latvian Song and Dance Festival USA, where they will share the North American premiere of Spring Cycle by Peternis Aldins. After taking time with Michelle to celebrate their thirteenth wedding anniversary (on July 4!), GPS will return to the University of St. Thomas to teach the graduate conducting sequence. He will also spend time in Louisville as the headlining clinician for Kentucky ACDA Summer Conference.