VocalEssence pushes forward with annual Christmas concert

Artistic director Philip Brunelle leads VocalEssence in one of its previous holiday performances.
Courtesy of Bruce Silcox

Like so many holiday traditions, VocalEssence’s annual “Welcome Christmas” concert looks a little different this year. Still, the choral ensemble hopes the music brings a sense of peace and joy to audiences at home.

The group took incredible efforts to maintain singers’ safety during the rehearsal and recording process, associate conductor Phillip Shoultz said. They staged their gatherings in small groups, practicing for only 30 minutes at a time before letting the air clear in the room, and workshopped ways to improve the clarity of singers’ voices while masked.

Shoultz spoke with Morning Edition host Cathy Wurzer about the experience. “It was so much fun just to be back together,” he said. “I can’t tell you how much joy it brought to all of us just to hear those harmonies again.”

The "Welcome Christmas” concert is available for streaming now online. It will also air on Twin Cities PBS later this month.

Listen to the full interview by clicking on the audio player above.

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