While the busy holiday season is behind them, the new year holds plenty of exciting projects for our in-demand conductors, Artistic Director Philip Brunelle and Associate Conductor G. Phillip Shoultz, III. Our Ensemble Singers are putting the final polish on their preparations for the Super Bowl LIVE kickoff concert. Philip Brunelle is leading them in rehearsals and finalizing the program, which will include a medley of NFL teams’ rousers, several river songs and a medley of popular songs, all composed by Minnesotans or made famous by Minnesotans. And of course, Idina Menzel will sing “Let it Go,” her hit from Frozen. Catch the show at 5:20 p.m. on the (heated!) stage at 8th and Nicollet Mall, before Philip and the choir head into Orchestra Hall to repeat the program for Super Bowl sponsors.
On February 1 Philip will leave for Africa! He will fly to Entebbe, Uganda and then drive five hours to Bukoba, Tanzania (on the shores of Lake Victoria) where he will help organize a five-nation Choral Festival to be held in July 2018. Philip will be meeting with choirs, church, corporate and government leaders in a “Mini Choral Festival,” viewing the sites for the festival, and studying the overall schedule. He will return a week later, in time to attend the dress rehearsals for VocalEssence WITNESS: Of Such I Dream, conducted by Phillip Shoultz. Philip will be presenting this year’s Reatha Clark King Award at the February 18 concert.
Phillip Shoultz, III is traveling down to Georgia to guest conduct a middle school honor choir. When he returns, he’ll continue rehearsing with the new singers in the first-ever VocalEssence Youth Choir for their debut performance at the VocalEssence WITNESS: Of Such I Dream concert.
After that, Phillip is presenting the session “Awakening Creativity and Expression to Create Community” as a clinician for the Midwinter 2018 Clinic of the Minnesota Music Educators Conference. On February 24, he’ll be conducting the Minnesota All-State High School Choir at Orchestra Hall. And of course, work is always ongoing when it comes to networking with potential teaching artists and educational institutions as he plans workshops and programs for the upcoming season.