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VocalEssence Ensemble Singers

Long treasured for its outstanding choral artistry and programmatic daring, VocalEssence seeks "to engage and enrich audiences who expect the unexpected." This Easter day on Saint Paul Sunday, the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers under founding artistic director Philip Brunelle do just that, introducing us to ten diverse contemporary works-several composed for the performers themselves. We'll hear Easter and springtime music of Dominick Argento, Stephen Paulus, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, and a host of others. Since first performing over three decades ago, the Ensemble Singers have explored the texts of their wide-ranging repertoire as perceptively as they have its music. On Sunday's program a number of striking poem settings give this eloquence free reign.

Listen to the performance


  • Joseph Brackett, arr. David Willcocks (Sydney Carter): The Lord of the Dance
  • Dominick Argento (Richard Crashaw): Easter Day
  • Calvin Hampton: Christ is Risen Indeed
  • Chris de Blasio: The Best-Beloved
    —IV. My beloved is mine, and I am his (Francis Quarles)
  • William Hawley: Four Reveries
    —III. My River Runs to Thee (Emily Dickinson)
  • Stephen Paulus (Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz): Love Opened a Mortal Wound
  • Richard Rodney Bennett: A Farewell to Arms
    —I. “The helmet now an hive for bees becomes...” (Ralph Knevet)
    —II. “His golden locks hath to silver turned...” (George Peele)
  • John Rutter: Birthday Madrigals
    —I. It was a Lover and his Lass
  • Mykola Leontovich : Śćedryk
  • Carlos Guastavino : Indianas
    —I. Gala del Dia (“Day’s Finery”)


Mixed Company is written by Saint Paul Sunday staff, giving you a behind-the-scenes look at the show and the classical music they love.


Artist profile: VocalEssence

Full texts and Translations