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Minnesota choral music wouldn't be the same without VocalEssence

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Conductor Philip Brunelle believes that choral music is strong in Minnesota because of the numerous opportunities available to singers. Having more than 200 local composers doesn't hurt either. 

"We are a rich and wonderful area for choral music because of these people," Brunelle told MPR News host Tom Weber. They talked in the Maud Moon Weyerhaeuser studio at MPR's William H. Kling Public Media Center along with 16 members of the professional choral group VocalEssence.

VocalEssense joined MPR News for their annual hour of songs that range from the very good to the very bad. 

Brunelle also spoke about upcoming performances, including one leading up to the Super Bowl with actress and singer Idina Menzel. 

Below is the list of music from the program:

Wishes and Candles, Stephen Paulus

Beautiful Star, Libby Larsen

Tempus Adest Floridum (Good King Wenceslas), Olli Kortekangas

Three versions of O Little Town of Bethlehem

Hark! Harold the Angel Sings

Gone to the Land of Santa Claus

God's Christmas Tree

Away in a Manger, John Rutter

Angels Hov'ring 'Round, Carol Barnett

What Month Was Jesus Born In? David Morrow