VocalEssence - Cantare

VocalEssence is a staple in the Minnesota choral community. Philip Brunelle has been inspiring audiences and bringing terrific programming to the Twin Cities for 50 YEARS!

Among the many programs that VocalEssence offers, Cantare is a truly unique opportunity. ¡Cantaré!—Spanish for “I will sing”— is an educational experience where a composer from Mexico will come to the US and work closely with a number of partner schools (across all ages) that culminates in a concert at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts. This year, Harding High School, was selected as the high school representative.

I am so excited about this. The composer, Pablo Mendoza Halliday, is a Colombian composer who has made his career in Mexico. Pablo came in to work with the choir back in September and will join us again in a few months for a second residency. Students loved getting to see a living composer ("in the wild", you could say) and I got a kick from him arguing with students about Colombian pronunciation vs. Latin American pronunciation.

The most exciting part of this is that Pablo will be writing a piece for us to premiere, as well as a piece that we'll be doing with Robbinsdale Spanish Immersion, Field Community School and SOTA (Singers Of This Age). As we approach March, I'm looking forward to having him explain why he wrote the piece the way he did, or why he added a crescendo, or why the dynamics matter. Hopefully having a living, breathing composer will excite these students into singing everything on the page....

Natalia Romero