Philip Brunelle - Artistic Director of VocalEssence


Philip Brunelle founded VocalEssence over 42 years ago. According to Maria Jette, a local soprano soloist, he has “a wild and crazy vision” which enables him to “bring people together in a thrilling manner.” He takes chances by programming unusual pieces and by involving his audiences in choosing his direction. Although conveying the beauty of music is the core of his work, educating audiences and promoting the future of music is also very important to him.

One risky thing he did was to call the famous composer Aaron Copeland and invite him to conduct VocalEssence (then called the Plymouth Music Series). Copeland was surprised to be approached and readily agreed. Think of someone you’d like to approach with an idea. Is there someone famous who you’d like to talk to, invite to a performance of yours, or present with your work? Write about who you’d contact and why you’d want to meet them.

Now that you’ve decided who you’d like to approach, actually plan how to do it. Do you want to show your paintings to an artist? Think of what you will say to them and how you’ll gain their attention. Is there a writer you’d like to have read your poems? Find out how to contact them and plan your meeting. If you don’t have someone famous in mind, just get up the courage to share your work with someone you know; you may be surprised by their reaction. As Philip Brunelle said about trying, “You don’t know if you don’t ask.”


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