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Philip Brunelle

Director

Philip Brunelle

Philip Brunelle is an internationally renowned conductor, choral scholar and performer. He founded VocalEssence (previously known as the Plymouth Music Series) in 1969 and remains the artistic director today. Brunelle's conducting engagements have taken him across the United States, South America and Europe. Recently, he has conducted the BBC Singers, the Seattle Symphony and the Cleveland Orchestra. Brunelle has served on the board of directors of Chorus America and the National Council on the Arts and he currently serves on the Board of Regents at St. Olaf College and the Board of Directors of the Greater Minneapolis Convention and Visitors Association. In 2001, he was inducted into the Minnesota Musical Hall of Fame and he has won a myriad of awards including the Kodaly Medal from the government of Hungary, the Stig Andersson Award for contributions to Swedish music and the Minneapolis Award presented to him by Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton. In 2002, he was honored with the U.S. Bank Sally Ordway Irvine Award for Commitment, recognizing lifetime achievement, contribution and leadership in culture and the arts.

In 2005, British Ambassador Sir David Manning invested Philip as an Honorary Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for "his record of musical achievement; his promotion of musical links between Britain and the U.S.; and his introduction to the U.S. of some exceptional British music."

Discography

Displaying 1-10 of 10 items.


VocalEssence : A Bluegrass Mass : 00  1 CD : Philip Brunelle :  : 931

VocalEssence : A Bluegrass Mass

Review: The world premiere recording of Carol Barnett and Marisha Chamberlain's bluegrass mass - a joyful affirmation of life expressed in sophisticated choral sound and jubilant bluegrass harmonies written especially for the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers and bluegrass band Monroe Crossing. In addition ten American masterworks spanning the centuries, originally recorded for the national radio program Saint Paul Sunday, from Billings to Bolcom and beyond. The composers represented here display a passion for voices and what they can convey through song. Each is among the most respected in blending American song and text.

Songlist: The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass, O Praise the Lord of Heaven, The Paper Reeds by the Brooks, Beneath These Alien Stars, The Day is Done, I Cannot Dance, O Lord, Sing, My Soul, His Wondrous Love, Heritage, Zuni Sunrise Song, Water Night, My Soul's Been Anchored

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8743c 00 1 CD $15.95 Bluegrass Harmony


Vocalessence : Behold this Heavenly Night : 00  1 CD : Philip Brunelle :  : CLCD-939

Vocalessence : Behold this Heavenly Night

Review: VocalEssence and the American Composers Forum have joined forces to offer an annual contest encouraging the composition of new carols. Over the years hundreds of worthy carols have been submitted. "Behold This Heavenly Night" presents the world premiere of some of these contest-winning carols alongside outstanding arrangements of more familiar melodies. Also included is the U.S. premiere of John Rutter's new "Carol of the Magi" and a unique arrangement of "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" translated into Latin by Philip Brunelle and his son Christopher.

Songlist: Ding Dong! Merrily on High, What Child, The Piping Carol, Un Nacimento, A Mother's Carol, I Wonder as I Wander, Sweet Was the Song, Night of Silence, See Amid the Winter Snow, In the Bleak Midwinter, The Shepherd and the King, Carol of the Magi, Calm on the Listening Ear, The Darkest Midnight in December, Jingle Bells, Welcome the Kin, The Virgin's Cradle Hymn, Behold the Dark and Bitter Night, It Fell Upon the High Midnight, Rudolphus Rubrinasus

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6166c 00 1 CD $16.95 Mixed Choir Christmas CDs


VocalEssence : Dance Like The Wind : 00  1 CD : Philip Brunelle :  : 906

VocalEssence : Dance Like The Wind

Review: In 1991 founder and artistic director Philip Brunelle and 24 mixed-voice VocalEssence presented "Witness," the first of an enduring series of concerts focused on the music of African American Composers. It was taken from "Witness: Six Original Compositions in a Spiritual Style," commissioned for Jubilant Sykes and VocalEssence. Visiting several area high schools while soloist Sykes was in Minneapolis for the premiere led VocalEssence to create an award-winning educational outreach program, bringing the talents of African Americans to thousands of Minnesota school students. A Woodwind Quintet and Jazz Ensemble perform with VocalEssence on the 18 pieces of "Dance Like The Wind," Undine Smith Moore's lovely "Mother to Son," "We Shall Walk Through the Valley" and "Tambourines to Glory," the title tune--William Banfield's beautiful instrumental, "My Soul Hath Found Refuge In Thee" (Psalm 91), by Evelyn Simpson-Curenton," Adolphus Hailstork's soaring "Nocturne," two selections from Billy Childs' "Piece for Stringed Orchestra" and David Baker's eclectic "Images, Shadows and Dreams: Five Vignettes." "Dance Like the Wind" is thought-provoking and moving music by eight modern, cutting-edge African American composers.

Songlist: Mother To Son , We Shall Walk Through the Valley , Lamentations: Black Folk Song Suite , An Old Black Woman, Homeless and Indistinct , Dance Like The Wind , Tambourines to Glory , My Soul Hath Found Refuge In Thee , Nocturne , Piece for String Orchestra , Images, Shadows and Dreams: Five Vignettes

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7779c 00 1 CD $15.98


Vocalessence : Gratitude, Gravy and Garrison : 00  1 CD : Philip Brunelle :  : 940

Vocalessence : Gratitude, Gravy and Garrison

Review: Storyteller Garrison Keillor and conductor Philip Brunelle lead a harmonious celebration of all things Thanksgiving with the melodious voices of the VocalEssence Chorus & Ensemble Singers and their special guests, singer Jearlyn Steele and pianist Richard Dworsky. Along the way we learn that Thanksgiving really isn't all about the turkey - it's actually all about the pie.

Songlist: America, Comfort Ye, Let All Things Now Living, Egyptian Thanksgiving Song, Sonnet: Supper , All About Pie, I'll Be Home, More About Pie, Table Grace, The Final Word About Pie, Alleluia, Psalm, His Eye Is on the Sparrow, This Little Light of Mine

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6152c 00 1 CD $15.95


VocalEssence : Skyward My People Rose : 00  1 CD : Philip Brunelle : William Grant Still : 905

VocalEssence : Skyward My People Rose

Review: VocalEssence WITNESS recordings showcase the music of trailblazing African American composers - the soul of American classical music. William Grant Still's music for chorus, orchestra and organ brings the blues into the concert hall, ragtime to the ballet stage and the Old World into a new era!

Songlist: Wailing Woman, Swanee River (Old Folks At Home), And The Lynched Him On A Tree, We've Swung Him Higher, Look Dere, Oh, Sorrow, He Was Her Baby, They Took Away His Freedom, They Left Him Hanging, Miss Sally's Party, The Square Dance, Tia's Dance, Toby And Tip's Dance, The Country Dance, Miss Sally's Dance, Jim Slick's Dance, The Cake Walk Contest, Reverie, Elegy

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8417c 00 1 CD $15.95 Mixed Choirs CDs


VocalEssence : The Songs We Sang : 00  1 CD : Philip Brunelle :  : 932

Listen to
Dixie

VocalEssence : The Songs We Sang

Review: Reflecting the shared American heritage like a patchwork quilt, this is a charming collection of folksongs performed by conductor Philip Brunelle and the 32-voice VocalEssence Ensemble Singers with guitar, harmonica, accordion, bass and piano. Whether passed along by tradition or composed by a known songwriter, all of these songs have a melody that you can hum, sing and remember! Thanks to Norman Luboff, Edwin Fissinger, Jack Halloran, and the dynamic team of Alice Parker & Robert Shaw, there are wonderful arrangements that capture the atmosphere of each in choral settings.

Songlist: O, Dear, What Can the Matter Be?, Down in the Valley, Black is the Color, Skip to My Lou, Dixie, Camptown Races, Laura Lee, Oh Susanna, Gentle Annie, Goin' to Boston, Seeing Nellie Home, The Lonesome Valley, Shenandoah, Hooray for the Cowboys, Red River Valley, Tumblin' Tumbleweed, Riders in the Sky, Cool Water

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8742c 00 1 CD $15.95


VocalEssence : Welcome Christmas

Review: The world premiere recording of Conrad Susa's beloved Carols & Lullabies: Christmas in the Southwest, plus a delightful collection of carols from around the world, tied together by their diversity and charm. Featuring the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers with woodwinds, cello, bass, harp, guitar and percussion under the direction of conductor Philip Brunelle.

Songlist: Carols & Lullabies: Christmas in the Southwest, What Sweeter Music, Sussex Carol, Sing Hallelu!, Pat-a-Pan!, Go Tell It on the Mountain, Christ Was Born on Christmas Day, O Little Town of Bethlehem, The Friendly Beasts, Infant Holy, Infant Lowly, Ding, Dong, Merrily on High, 'Tis Winter Now, It came Upon the Midnight Clear, Away in a Manger, The Holly and the Ivy

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8713c 00 1 CD $15.95 Mixed Choir Christmas CDs


VocalEssence : What A Mighty God

Review: Philip Brunelle, founder and artistic director, leads 24 mixed-voice, MN-based VocalEssence in the "Witness" concert series-this one focused on African American spirituals and gospel music. Joining them are Moore by Four, an ensemble of Minneapolis-based jazz vocalists, and several accompanists on piano, drums and bass. 16 powerful, soulful tunes here: "Witness," "Hush, Somebody's Callin' My Name," "Death Is Gonna Lay His Cold Icy Hands On Me," the upbeat "Walk Together, Children," the powerful a cappella hymn "Were You There," the Moses Hogan-arranged "Elijah Rock," the Jester Hairston-arranged "In Dat Great Gittin' Up Mornin'," "Go Where I Send Thee," "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" and the Michael Abels-arranged title tune, "What a Mighty God." This is a wonderful collection of spirituals and Gospel tunes, authentic and sung with soul and spirit by one of the best Choruses (and jazz ensembles) on the planet. Great stuff!

Songlist: Witness (Jack Halloran), Hush! Somebody's Callin' My Name (arr. Brazeal W. Dennard), Death Is Gonna Lay His Cold Icy Hands on Me (arr. Andre Thomas), Walk Together, Children (arr. William Henry Smith), Were You There? (arr. Robert Scholz), Elijah Rock (arr. Moses Hogan), This Train (arr. Sanford Moore), Jesus, Lover of My Soul (arr. Richard Smallwood), My Lord, What A Mornin' (arr. Harry T. Burleigh), Go Down, Moses (arr. Robert A. Harris), In Dat Great Gittin' Up Mornin' (arr. Jester Hairston), Crucifixion (Adolphus Hailstork), Go Where I Send Thee (arr. Andre Thomas), Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (arr. Dale Adelmann), Go, Tell It on the Mountain (arr. Sanford Moore), What A Mighty God (arr. Michael Abels)

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7778c 00 1 CD $15.98


VocalEssence with Garrison Keillor : Hymn to Potatoes : 00  2 CDs : Philip Brunelle :  : VE 0605

VocalEssence with Garrison Keillor : Hymn to Potatoes

Review: Who knew a choir could be this funny? Garrison Keillor, Philip Brunelle and the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers dish up a generous helping of Potatoes a la Schubert, run away to Europe to indulge their "Shenandoah" habit, and enlighten us on the T.U.L.I.P. doctrine. This two-CD set of the best choral skits and bits from 10 years on A Prairie Home Companion includes the often-requested "Julia" (John Lennon) and a rare choral interpretation of "Karma Chamelon" (Boy George).

Songlist: Song of the Sons of Bernie, A Word about Schubert , Ave Maria, Dutch Calvinism: The T.U.L.I.P. Doctrine , Come Live with Me and Be My Love, Brahms in Love, Two Folk Songs, The "Shenandoah" Syndrome , Julia, The Runaway Choir, Norwegian Independence , Holy Trinity Lutheran Seeks Music Director , Beulah Land , The Choral News from Lake Wobegon , Something , Spring Fever

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8318c 00 2 CDs $19.95


VocalEssence with Garrison Keillor : Over The River & Through the Woods : 00  2 CDs : Philip Brunelle :  : VE 1104

VocalEssence with Garrison Keillor : Over The River & Through the Woods

Review: On November 23, 2004, the Hopeful Gospel Quartet - Garrison Keillor, Mollie O'Brien and Robin & Linda Williams - traded musical moments with the VocalEssence Chorus and Ensemble Singers in a concert at Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. The evening seamlessly blended American folk traditions with choral masterpieces old and new, from "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" to "Now Thank We All Our God." Garrison Keillor shared his Thanksgiving memories in a hilarious yet poignant monologue. Thanks to Minnesota Public Radio, the evening was captured for posterity in this charming two-CD set.

Songlist: Will The Circle Be Unknown, Goodbye To My Uncles, Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing, We Gather Together, Walking In The Spirit, Welcome, For The Beauty Of The Earth, I Am A Pilgrim, Pursuit Of Happiness, Morning Has Broken, He's Right On Time, A Psalm, Zion's Walls, Rivers Of Babylon, O Herbst , Calling My Children, Another Psalm, Praise O Praise The Great Creator, Couldn't Keep It To MySelf, An Anthem For Thanksgiving, How Happy I Am , Thanksgiving Recollections, Thanks Be To God, El Hambo, You Don't Knock, Light From The Lighthouse, A Thanksgiving To God, For His House, Monologue, Psalm 23, How Great Thou Art, Now Thank We All Our God, Irish Heartbeat

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8319c 00 2 CDs $19.95

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