After conducting the opening Divine Light concerts of the season, Artistic Director Philip Brunelle traveled to Toronto for meetings with several composers as well as former MPR favorite, Eric Friesen, back in his native Canada. The Ensemble Singers are now busy working on music for both November and December concerts including the world premiere of Kim Arnesen’s Nordic Christmas. For the upcoming ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) state convention, he will give a presentation on music of contemporary women composers and also present the annual VocalEssence Creative Programming Award to this year’s winner.
Associate Conductor G. Phillip Shoultz, III hit the ground running with VocalEssence Singers Of This Age (VESOTA), leading them through their annual MEA weekend retreat and two October performances. He’s on the road quite a bit these next few weeks with guest conducting engagements. The first is in Kasson-Mantorville, where he will conduct the Robert Ray Gospel Mass with 400 high school singers and orchestra. Worthington is the next stop where Phillip will lead the 6th Annual Big Sing festival with close to 500 high school singers. A trip to Boston will give him the opportunity to observe professional choirs, work with the Boston Children’s Choir, and lead a Festival of Choirs featuring ensembles from Northeastern University and Worchester Polytechnic Institute. He’s hosting 200 high school students for the first annual Twin Cities Urban Youth Choir Festival in mid-November. And the very next week, VESOTA takes a trip to Wisconsin to perform a distinguished artist concert at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.