• Joe Davis with an orange background

WITNESS: Reawakening Love Digital Concert Program

Joe Davis and The Poetic Diaspora
VocalEssence Chorus
VocalEssence Ensemble Singers
VocalEssence Singers Of This Age
VocalEssence Vintage Voices
Kristianna Marks, soprano soloist
Mary Jo Gothmann, piano
Philip Brunelle, conductor
G . Phillip Shoultz, III, conductor


This afternoon, we invite you to join with us in our quest to live, act, speak, and work in ways that call for the revival of love, the rebirth of peace, and the emergence of a community where violence ceases. Welcome to VocalEssence WITNESS: Reawakening Love!
In 1991, when Artistic Director and Founder Philip Brunelle decided to honor Black History month with a concert dedicated to bringing greater visibility and awareness to the music of composers from the African diaspora, not even he could have predicted the profound and lasting impact that decision would have.
VocalEssence WITNESS celebrates many outstanding contributions the Black community makes to our shared cultural heritage through concerts, conversations, recitals, workshops, and programming in churches, community centers, and schools throughout the metropolitan region. Each year, with the help of our phenomenal roster of Teaching Artists, thousands of students participate in interactive workshops based on a curated theme which highlights Black brilliance, past and present, and illuminates our role in making today’s society more equitable for all.
I’m so honored to share the stage with Joe Davis and the members of The Poetic Diaspora. Through his multi-media company, The New Renaissance, and through workshops, conversations, and performances, Joe has fiercely advocated for reconciliation and truth telling based in love and respect for the dignity and beauty within each human being. In our work together, Joe and I are exploring ways to enlarge the boundaries of choral music experiences so more people can see themselves in the music, with the hope that many folks are inspired to consider ways they can promote a more loving world. I’m so grateful for Joe’s friendship and this opportunity to make music together.
Now settle in, sit back, and prepare to soak in a wonderful fusion of musical styles interwoven with stories of struggle, resilience, and celebration as we honor lives lost and consider our own role in bringing into being a world that is wide enough for all to thrive. It is my sincere hope that as you leave Orchestra Hall, you will embrace our invitation to live your life in a way that brings more love, more equity, more cooperation, and more joy into our world!
—G. Phillip Shoultz, III
Associate Artistic Director

The Program

All selections feature the combined forces of the VocalEssence Chorus, Ensemble Singers, Singers Of This Age, and Vintage Voices unless listed below.
Ysaÿe Barnwell
Joe Davis and The Poetic Diaspora
Marques L. A. Garrett
Traditional, arr. G. Phillip Shoultz, III
Joe Davis and The Poetic Diaspora & VocalEssence
Reginal Wright
VocalEssence Ensemble Singers
Ernest Bisong, violin
Matthew Williams, viola
Joe Davis and The Poetic Diaspora
VocalEssence Singers Of This Age
B.E. Boykin
VocalEssence Chorus
Joe Davis and The Poetic Diaspora
Traditional Negro Spiritual, arr, Eric O. Poole
Kristianna Marks, soprano soloist
Joe Davis and The Poetic Diaspora
VocalEssence Singers Of This Age
Mark Miller
VocalEssence Singers Of This Age, & Vintage Voices
Joe Davis and The Poetic Diaspora
Kyle Pederson
Joe Davis and The Poetic Diaspora
Joe Davis and The Poetic Diaspora
Traditional Negro Spiritual, arr. Joel Thompson
VocalEssence Chorus, Ensemble Singers, & Singers Of This Age


HOPE, Ysaÿe Barnwell
If we want hope to survive in this world today,
then every day we’ve got to pray on, teach on, work on, fight on, sing on!
DREAMER’S MANIFESTO, Joe Davis and The Poetic Diaspora
Dream big. Dream like a little kid.
Dream you can do things that nobody ever did.
My dreams can be your dreams, too. If you still believe your dreams can come true.
SING OUT, MY SOUL, Marques L. A. Garrett
Sing out, my soul, your songs of joy;
Sing as a happy bird will sing
Beneath a rainbow’s lovely arch
In early spring.
Think not of death
Strive not for gold
Train up your mind to feel content,
What matters then how low your store?
It matters not.
What we enjoy, and not possess,
Makes rich or poor.
—William Henry Davies
THIS JOY, Traditional, arr. G. Phillip Shoultz, III
This joy that I have the world didn’t give it to me.
The world didn’t give it.
The world can’t take it away.
—Traditional Spiritual
TIDES, Reginal Wright
When we are tethered to fear we cannot hope
to abolish injustice;
courage gains ground
only when we recognize it beneath our own feet.
You can’t test the parting of the sea
without setting foot on to the sand.
Faith in the potential
is the only way to reclaim humanity.
While caution and division
shout above the waves;
hope is the tide that rises
and again
persistent even in retreat
already planning to rush in once more.
A chance—to try again
Try again,
better this time
more compassionate this time,
more loving this time,
more understanding this time.
We should be the sea
that never tires of returning to the shore;
that retreats and gathers strength
to fight
and again.
Washed clean—not forgotten;
forgiven, to try again
better this time; compassionate this time,
loving this time, understanding
this time.
—Cara Cullen
HUMANITY: THE STORY OF UBUNTU, Joe Davis and The Poetic Diaspora
If I were you
And you were me
Then we would know true empathy
To have compassion
On someone else
To treat each other
As ourselves
You and me
If one is bound
Then none are free
—Joe Davis
Gather up whatever is glittering in the gutter,
whatever has tumbled
in the waves or fallen
in flames out of the sky,
for it’s not only our
hearts that are broken,
but the heart
of the world as well.
Stitch it back together.
Make a place where
the day speaks to the night
and the earth speaks to the sky.
Whether we created God
or God created us
it all comes down to this:
In our imperfect world
we are meant to repair
and stitch together
what beauty there is, stitch it
with compassion and wire.
See how everything
we have made gathers
the light inside itself
and overflows? A blessing.
—Stuart Kestenbaum
SHOW UP, Joe Davis and The Poetic Diaspora
Good Lord, won’t you fill me up. I can’t pour from an empty cup.
Show up! Overflowing ‘cause I’m filled with love,
no matter how I feel I ‘m still enough.
Show up for love.
DON’T YOU LET NOBODY TURN YOU AROUND, Traditional Negro Spiritual, arr, Eric O. Poole
Don’t you let nobody turn you aroun’,
Don’t let ‘em turn you aroun’.
You better keep on, keep walkin’, walkin’,
Keep on, keep talkin’, talkin’.
Marchin’, marchin’ up to freedom lan’.
Don’t you let no bully,
Don’t you let no hatred,
Don’t you let racism turn you aroun’.
I been ‘buked and I been scorned.
I been talked about as sure as you’re born.
I’m gonna keep my hands on the Gospel plow.
Nobody! Nobody! NOBODY gonna turn me out!
I’m gonna find good trouble,
I’m gonna find good trouble,
I’m gonna find some necessary trouble and turn it aroun’.
Nobody turnin’ me roun’. No. No.
Nobody gonna turn me aroun’. No. No.
Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me. No. No. No.
No…, no…, no…, nobody turnin’ me ‘roun’.
Nobody, NO!
Won’t let ‘em turn me.
Keep on, keep walkin’, walkin’,
Keep on, keep talkin’, talkin’.
Findin’ good trouble, trouble,
Marchin’, marchin’ IN to freedom lan’, right IN to freedom lan’!
—Traditional Negro Spiritual, alt. Eric O. Poole
LOVER, FIGHTER, Joe Davis and The Poetic Diaspora
I’m a lover and a fighter and I fight for love.
Fight, fight, fight, fight…fight for love!
Hearts open, minds awake,
Change us now for heaven’s sake.
Leave us not alone in hatred’s wake
Show us how to love.
Hearts open, souls awake,
Rules we made we now must break.
With our very own lives at stake
We must learn to love.
Eyes open, shocked awake,
Much to learn from our mistakes.
Draw us closer in our heartache.
Show us how to love.
—Lindy Thompson
LOVE LIKE FIRE, Joe Davis and The Poetic Diaspora
I wish somebody’s soul would…
Catch on fire; burnin’ ‘til we’re healed and whole.
RECONCILE, Kyle Pederson
Forgive me for all the times I stood by,
turned aside, and when I cast a blind eye down;
I pretended not to see you grieving, not to see you reeling,
but I see you now.
I’ll turn around, my pride laid down,
hear my apology.
Can we talk together? I want to do better…
May I walk with you, and stay awhile…
Can we reconcile?
Forgive me for all the times I laughed,
or went on the attack, all at your expense;
Behind your back I undermined what you’re about,
I sold you out, never came to your defense.
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak;
courage is what it takes to sit down and listen.*
This is the work we’re called to do.
This is the work we all can do.
—Kyle Pederson, * anonymous quote,
often misattributed to Winston Churchill
RAISE UP, Joe Davis and The Poetic Diaspora
Raise up my eyes unto the hills to be healed.
Wake up my mind, rising until the truth’s revealed.
What time is it?
It’s time to raise up, it’s time.
What time is it?
It’s time to wake up, it’s time.
LOVE IS THE WAY, Joe Davis and The Poetic Diaspora
They say they love, but they don’t show no love to other people.
One thing in life I know for sure: Love is the way.
They say they love but they just grow more hate, greed, lust, and evil.
One thing in life I know for sure: Love is the way.
WHO WILL BE A WITNESS?, Traditional Negro Spiritual, arr. Joel Thompson
Who will be a witness for my Lord?
Read the Scriptures and you’ll understand
that Samson was the strongest man.
Read a little further and you will find
God gave him the vict’ry o’er the Philistines.
Samson was a witness for my Lord,
so, who will be a witness for my Lord?
The Persian king could be so mean,
still, the Lord told Esther she would be the queen.
When Haman started making his evil plans,
Esther let him know who was in command.
Esther was a witness for my Lord,
so, who will be a witness for my Lord?
I am a witness for my Lord!
Yes, I am a witness for my Lord!
My soul is a witness for my Lord!
I will be a witness for my Lord!
—American Negro Spiritual


Joe Davis is a nationally-touring artist, educator, and speaker based in Minneapolis, MN. He employs poetry, music, theater, and dance to shape culture. His work has been featured on BET, CNN, and VH1. He is the Founder and Director of multimedia production company, The New Renaissance, the frontman of emerging soul funk band, The Poetic Diaspora, co-creator of JUSTmove, racial justice education through art, and author of We Rise Higher: Poems and Prayers for Graduates. He has keynoted, facilitated conversation, and served as teaching artist at hundreds of high schools and universities including programs in New York, Boston, and most recently as the Artist-in-Residence at Luther Seminary where he earned a Masters in Theology of the Arts.
Joe Davis & The Poetic Diaspora journey through the sonically diverse realms of old school and new school hip hop, R&B, funk, and soul, while seamlessly blending melodic harmonies, smooth instrumentation, and raw, poetic energy to tell stories of struggle, resilience, and celebration. Formed in the heart of the Twin Cities, Minnesota, the collective is dedicated to crafting vibrant soundscapes around honest narratives that reflect their community’s sacred humanity. Each song is an ancestral echo, a battle cry calling for freedom, an unending dance for justice and joy, welcoming all of the diaspora home.
Joe Davis, Poet | Founder | Artistic Director
Imani Waters, Vocalist
Traiveon Dunlap, Vocalist | Percussion
Theo Brown, Multi-instrumentalist | Lead Keys
Nii Adjetey Mensah, Muti-instrumentalist | Lead Bass | Beatbox
Omar Abdulkarim, Multi-instrumentalist | Lead Horn
Deevo Dee, Multi-instrumentalist | Guitarist
Ernest Bisong, violin
Soprano Kristianna Marks is originally from Detroit, Michigan, where she attended the famed Cass Technical High School and thrived in the arts program. Now a student at Bethel University, where she studies vocal performance, Kristianna most recently starred as Countess Almaviva in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro.

About VocalEssence WITNESS

Now in its 33rd year, our VocalEssence WITNESS School Program celebrates the artistic contributions of African Americans to the fine arts and to our common cultural heritage. The program is comprised of three components: workshops with experienced VocalEssence Teaching Artists for students grades 4-12, teacher resources including access to an online resource hub with curriculum and videos as well as professional development, and attendance at the VocalEssence WITNESS Young People’s Concerts, featuring VocalEssence singers and guest artists.
2022-2023 FAST FACTS
•  35 schools from the Twin Cities metro and beyond (including Duluth and Faribault) are participating this year.
•  More than 4,000 students will be participating in the program this year, attending two SOLD OUT VocalEssence WITNESS Young People’s Concerts on Monday, February 27.
•  New this year, several of our VocalEssence Teaching Artists will engage all of the students at Longfellow School for Parenting and Pregnant Teens in interactive WITNESS workshops.

Reatha Clark King Award

The Reatha Clark King Award for Excellence and Youth Motivation through the Cultural Arts was established by VocalEssence in 2007 to celebrate and recognize leaders and organizations that provide the resources to empower youth through direct contact, making a way for them to be as successful as they can be. For fifteen years, VocalEssence has given out an award named after pioneering African American scientist, educator, and philanthropist Reatha Clark King. We’re pleased to recognize the vital work of Sondra Samuels.
Sondra Samuels is the President & CEO of the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ), a collaborative of over 30 partner nonprofits and schools. Along with parents, students, partners, and staff, Sondra is leading a revolutionary culture shift in North Minneapolis focused on ending multigenerational poverty through education and family stability. The NAZ Collaborative is working toward a single goal—to prepare low-income North Minneapolis children to graduate from high school, college- and career-ready. NAZ has scaled up in support of over 1,000 parents and 2,300 students as they turn the social service model on its head and lead the creation of a college-bound culture throughout the community.
2022: Traci V. Bransford
2020: VocalEssence Teaching Artists and Joanna Cortright
2019: Hallie Q. Brown Community Center
2018: Dr. Jacob A. Gayle, Jr. and the Medtronic Foundation
2017: T. Mychael Rambo
2016: Dr. Josie Robinson Johnson
2015: Sanford Moore
2014: General Mills
2013: Phyllis Wheatley Community Center
2012: Theresa Neal
2011: Sharon Sayles Belton
2010: Laysha Ward
2009: Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan C. Page and Diane Sims
2008: Patricia A. Harvey
2007: Ms. Ossie Brooks James

WITNESS Advisory Council

Torrie Allen
Marvin Anderson
Martha Arradondo
Stanley Brown
Tazha Buckner
James Burroughs
Eric Clark
Victoria Davis
Ashley Dubose
Jacob Gayle
Valton Henderson
Tricia Kaufman
Reatha King
Kevin Lindsey
Laverne McCartney Knighton
Rhoda Miriphiri-Reed
Maria Mitchell
Philomena Morrissey Satre
Amanda Norman
Jonathan Palmer
Chadwick Phillips
Joanne Reeck
Sharon Smith-Akinsanya
Lezlie Taylor
George Thompson

About VocalEssence

For more than five decades, VocalEssence has provided opportunities for singers from the Twin Cities area to create incredible music together and build connections as part of the vibrant arts community in Minnesota.
VocalEssence is known for introducing audiences to music and artists who are not yet known, often welcoming guest artists, composers, and conductors who are emerging, have unknown works, or represent a variety of cultures. Welcoming all members of the greater community, VocalEssence embodies the motto: Together We Sing.
VocalEssence draws upon the power of singing together to nurture community, inspire creativity, affirm the value of all persons, and expand the influence of choral music.
Artistic Director and Founder
Philip Brunelle, artistic director and founder of VocalEssence 54 years ago, is an internationally-renowned conductor, choral scholar, and visionary. Philip has conducted symphonies, choral festivals, and operas on six continents. He holds five honorary degrees, served 9 years as Vice President of IFCM (International Federation for Choral Music), and has been recognized for his commitment to choral music by the governments of Norway, Hungary, Sweden, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. In 2019, he was awarded the American Prize in Choral Conducting and, in 2020, was given the Honorary Member Award by the Society for American Music. This fall Philip was appointed a National Arts Associate of the Sigma Alpha Iota Music Fraternity. Philip is also Organist-Choirmaster at Plymouth Congregational Church, Minneapolis. During the pandemic Philip recorded almost 300 “Musical Moments” which can be accessed HERE and his thoughts on music are at RenaissanceManpodcast.com.
Associate Artistic Director
G. Phillip Shoultz, III, associate artistic director, uses the power of the spoken word and song to foster community and inspire action among people of all ages and abilities. Phillip conducts festival choirs and leads workshops across the United States and beyond. He serves on the faculty of the University of St. Thomas and guides the ministries of worship, music, and the arts at Westwood Lutheran Church. The Minnesota Orchestra regularly engages Phillip to host their Young People’s Concerts and his online presence continues to grow as his pandemic livestream, Take 5 with GPS, rapidly approaches the 450 episode milestone. The winner of numerous honors, including the ACDA Graduate Conducting Competition and multiple Teacher of the Year awards, Phillip founded “Table for More” in the summer of 2020 to help organizations address issues related to innovation, equity, and belonging in the arts. Phillip lives in St. Louis Park with his wife, Michelle, and their two children (Malachi and Lydia Grace).
Learning and Engagement Manager
Conductor, Vintage Voices
Robert Graham is the Learning and Engagement Manager at VocalEssence where he serves as the conductor for the VocalEssence Vintage Voices choirs, and oversees the renowned VocalEssence WITNESS School Program. Robert has a Master of Music degree in both vocal performance and choral conducting from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, and a B.A. in vocal performance from Xavier University of Louisiana. Robert currently serves as a section leader of the adult choir at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis, sings second tenor in the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers, and also performs around the Twin Cities as a solo and chamber musician.
Mary Jo Gothmann joined VocalEssence as staff accompanist in 2015. She enjoys a varied career as a chamber musician, soloist, opera coach, and organist. Mary Jo performs frequently with the Minnesota Orchestra and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and is a graduate of Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Program, University of Minnesota, New England Conservatory, and St. Olaf College. Mary Jo is the founder and Artistic Director of the Joya Chamber Music Series at Zion Lutheran Church in Anoka.
Accompanist, VocalEssence Vintage Voices
John Jensen received his music degrees in Southern California, where he attended Occidental College and University of Southern California. While there he free-lanced as a studio musician, playing on the Andy Williams show and touring the country with prominent singers through Columbia Artists Management. He moved to Iowa and taught for 15 years at Grinnell College as an artist-in-residence. In 1990, John moved to St. Paul and has played with VocalEssence, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. In November 2022, John appeared with the Yale Symphony Orchestra at Yale University to play and record a piano concerto by the late Paul Reale, for Naxos records (to be released in 2023).

VocalEssence Chorus 2022-23, photo credit-Bruce Silcox

The VocalEssence Chorus is a group of talented and enthusiastic singers from many different walks of life, united by their love of singing and community. Performing a wide variety of musical styles, premiering new works, and sharing the stage with a diverse array of guest artists, the Chorus is a welcome home for singers who wish to continue making music throughout their adult lives.
AnnaLisa Anderson
Madison Asher
Jessica Belt
Corey Cellurale
Lorinda Chagnon
Amanda Connolly
McKenna Cromwell
Kristina M. Guiffre
Rebecca Hovsepian
Claire Huber
Sally Jaffray
Clara Lind
Emma Marsh
Lisa Misch
Lisa D. Moncur
Mary Nyhus
Christina Pederson
Emma Schlabach
Ashley Slattery
Leah Sovick
Abbie Sulik
Dana Terres
Amanda Troolin
Jennifer Vickerman
Laura Walklet Jacobsen
Carole Whitney
Dannika Wright
Akosua Obuo Addo
Nancy Jo Aldrich
Azure Anderson
Johanna Beaupre
Jo Beld
Katelyn Belden
Grace Dokken-Smith
Autumn Gurgel Valentini
Marjorie Hakala
Meg Hanna
Dee Hein
Grace Alice Herbertz
Katie Kovacovich
Wenie Lado
Jessica Laven Johnson
Jeenee Lee
Rebecca Modert
Kristi Mueller
Elizabeth Neuenfeldt
Liz Raimann
Marty Raymond
Miriam Sahouani
Erin Sandsmark
Katie Sandsmark
Lisa K. Schalla
Sydney Schoeberle
Forrest Schrader
Laura Tanner
Catherine Terres
Steve Aggergaard
David Ampaabeng
Jason Bendezu
Larry J. Brandts
Justin Clark
Ryan Coopergard
Ben Demaree
Martin Kulstad
Owen Metzger
Kurtis Parlin
Thomas Sasdi
Rabindra Tambyraja
Barry Tikalsky
Justin Vanni
Robert Atendido
Evan Clay Kelly
Jordan Kiffmeyer
Jacob T Koshiol
Ben Kucera
Mike LaFleur
Philip Lowry
Nicholas Mroczek
Declan O’Higgins
Milo Oien-Rochat
David Olson
Brian D. Ruhl
Anthony LeVell Sims
Trent Stenoien
Matthew Terhaar
David Toht

VocalEssence Ensemble Singers 2022-23, photo credit-Bruce Silcox

The VocalEssence Ensemble Singers have established an international reputation because of their extensive catalog of recordings and broad range of unique repertoire. This chamber choir, whose members hail from a wide variety of professions, is bound together by their skilled artistry to create what The Times of London has described as a “flawless” sound.
Jennifer Bevington
Elsa Buck
Chloe Johnson
JoAnna E. Johnson
Natalia Romero Arbeláez
Margaret Sabin
Mari Scott
Carey Shunskis
Robin Joy Helgen
Patty Kramer
Marita Link
Anna George Meek
Judith McClain Melander
Erin Smith Peters
Kristina Rodel Sorum
Peter Aldrich
Elijah Baumgartner
Will Berendsen
Ben Brunnette
Robert J. Graham
Nicholas Mattsson
Bill Pederson
Jimmy Deignan
Joseph Ellickson
David Gindra
Joe Kastner
Erik Krohg
Nathan Petersen-Kindem
Dr. Michael P. Schmidt

VocalEssence Singers Of This Age, photo credit: Kyndell Harkness

The VocalEssence Singers Of This Age (VESOTA) is a community of Twin Cities teenagers engaged in expanding what it means to be a choir and, encouraging a wider circle of participation in the artform. Presenting music ranging from classical to hip-hop, they use creativity and collaboration to build an accepting community, equipped with the skills to lead social change in our society.
Alice Weiland
Anastasia Pihvagah
Anna Delaney
Alyssa Witty
Ash Kansara
Avery Somdahl
Cam Sisson
Curtis Ying
Dede Jones
Ella Wright
Elizabeth (Moxie) Tucker
Emi Sisson
Ethan Cheng
Ian Ronning
Isa Benegas
Jadesola (Ghost) Olatunde
Jer Vang
Jerilyn Moya-Hypolite
Jerusha (Ru) Burdette
Kadin Bartlett
Kaija Halvorson
Kayla Gibson
Krista Hines
Lela Sabin
Lily Hiebert
Lotus Deuel
Ma’Kiala Moore
Mahagony Robinson
Natalie Goodman
Raegan Brogden
Ricquelle Miles
Ruby Atkins
Skylar Bandelin
Ursula Beitz

VocalEssence Vintage Voices 2, photo credit Kyndell Harkness
VocalEssence Vintage Voices, Photo Credit: Kyndell Harkness

VocalEssence Vintage Voices is an exciting choral program that integrates the arts into the everyday lives of older adults. Guided by a desire to create a welcoming atmosphere and remove barriers for participation, these choirs sing to build community, combat loneliness and isolation, and improve physical and emotional wellbeing.
Lisa Davison
Elaine Evers
Gwen Fraction
Phyllis Harris
Wilmetia Henderson
Jean Herron
Antonette Johnson
Linda Kos
Deb Parker
Carol Richardson
Nancey Riley
Dorothy Barnes-Griswold
Sylvia Beamon
Jeanie Hoffman
Ann Jensen
Joanna Lees
Harriet Solomon
Shirlee Callender
Grace Jaggers
Rudy Oakerlund
Valton Henderson
Jon Jensen
Jan Cutler
Eiko Hidani
Elaine Indahl
Sally Kelby
Jane Klein
Becky McAlpine
Mary Speerschneider
Darlene Swenson
Polly Bullock
Liza Ervin
Judy Hovda
Lucy Ingram
Audrey Johnson
Jane Johnston
Lee Joyce
Dorothy Pryor
Barbara Ross
Char Egenberger
Joy Pierce
Austin Pryor
Jean Spong
Dick Willits
Milt Bullock
Ron Christie
Jim Ervin
Renner Johnston
Mal Moore
Bob Ross
Lyle Rossing
Rich Sachse
Chuck Swanson

VocalEssence Board of Directors and Staff

Carolina Gustafson
David Myers
Torrie Allen
Vice President
Daniel Fernelius
Kristen Hoeschler O’Brien
Mary Ann Aufderheide
Tanya M. Bransford
Philip Brunelle
Barbara Burwell
Mirella Ceja-Orozco
Margaret Chutich
Dan Dressen
Martha Driessen
Anna K. B. Finstrom
Cassandra Garnett
RJ Heckman
Valton Henderson
Daniel Kantor
Lisa Merklin Lewis
Paul H. McDonough
Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed
Fred Moore
Richard Neuner
Jim Odland
Joanne Reeck
Don Shelby
Amanda Storm Schuster
Elizabeth Truesdell Smith
Jeff Smith
Kristina Rodel Sorum
Timothy C. Takach
Rabindra Tambyraja
Ann Barkelew
Ann Buran
Art Kaemmer
Nikki Lewis
Mike McCarthy*
Dave Mona
Dorene Wernke
Dominick Argento*
William Bolcom
Dave Brubeck*
Stewart Copeland
Aaron Copland*
Håkan Hagegård
Louise Heffelfinger*
Eskil Hemberg*
Betty Hulings*
Sigrid Johnson*
James Earl Jones
Garrison Keillor
Donald Mitchell*
Helmuth Rilling
John Rutter
Peter Schickele
Dr. André J. Thomas
Eric Whitacre
*In remembrance
Philip Brunelle
Artistic Director and Founder
G. Phillip Shoultz, III
Associate Artistic Director
Robert Graham
Learning and Engagement Manager | Conductor, Vintage Voices
Mary Jo Gothmann
John Jensen
Accompanist, Vintage Voices
Azure Anderson
Executive Assistant
Mary Ann Aufderheide
Executive Director
Jeff Bina
Director of Finance and Operations
Rhiannon Fiskradatz
Learning and Engagement Manager
Laura Holst
Development and Marketing Associate
Ethan Johnson
Director of Artistic Operations
Amanda Timmer
Director of Marketing and Communications
Elissa Weller
Director of Development

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Thank you, VocalEssence Supporters

VocalEssence has a large group of committed supporters and is honored by the many gifts received in memory, appreciation, and celebration of friends and family that are too many to list in this concert program. Please click the button below to see a full list of supporters and special tributes.

VocalEssence Supporters

Special Thanks for the Support of this Concert

  • Ta-coumba Aiken
  • WITNESS Advisory Council

Special Thanks

  • NewTrax
    Nick Peter, Orchestra Hall
    Westwood Lutheran Church