Artistic Director Philip Brunelle started the month of September by conducting the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers in Mexico City for an amazing week of concerts and workshops. They performed solo concerts and also joined 30 professional Mexican singers in concerts of Brahms and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Orquesta Symphonica de Minería.
September is the month Associate Conductor G. Phillip Shoultz, III feels most like a traveling salesman, as he makes multiple visits to the 18 public high schools in Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, and St. Paul to recruit for the VocalEssence Singers Of This Age youth choir. Visits to choir and arts classrooms, lunchrooms, and assemblies are providing an opportunity for him to share the invitation for high school students to join us for the second year of this amazing program. “It’s been a joy this year to have the returning Singers Of This Age members to assist with the process, and share their experiences with peers,” said Phillip. “It’s thrilling to hear them be ambassadors for the program…they absolutely love it and each other!” Additionally, Phillip and his VocalEssence Singers Of This Age colleagues have been ramping up a presence on social media (follow them on Instagram: @vocalessencesota), refining the transportation plan and finalizing plans with the artistic partners in preparation for the November 8 solo concert titled Identity. You won’t want to miss it!
While this sounds like enough, there’s so much more going on as Phillip also finalizes the content for our new Family Series concerts and work with his amazing Learning, Engagement, and Community Programs colleagues (Amanda and Rob) to prepare materials for this year’s iterations of WITNESS, ¡Cantaré!, Vintage Voices, and the Together We Sing Festival. In addition, he had the pleasure of serving as a clinician for numerous choir retreats in Minnesota and beyond. Most recently, he just returned from his first trip to Alaska, where he was invited by the Keys to Life organization to train 18 teaching artists for their Lullaby project which works with the Hiland Correctional Facility.
For both conductors, rehearsals have been going splendidly. The VocalEssence Chorus & Ensemble Singers are in fine form as they prepare for our first two concerts. This is going to be an amazing year, and they can’t wait to sing for and WITH you!