VocalEssence is pulling out all the stops to ring in the season of wonder. Hear beloved carols you know and love featuring the joyous sounds of brass and percussion, and Northrop’s spectacular Aeolian-Skinner Opus 892 pipe organ. The centerpiece of this event will feature—for the first time in concert—all of the VocalEssence singing forces together on one stage. Bring your outdoor voice and join in a sing-along that will be sure to get you in the Christmas spirit.


“VocalEssence is one of the granddaddies of Christmas concertizing in these parts. The organization, propelled by the musically insatiable curiosity of its founder, Philip Brunelle, has thrived … by convincing audiences that vocal music is not for the timid.” —Minnpost

Event Details

Event Information Email

  • Ticket holders, check your email or find the Event Info link on your order confirmation.
  • If you need assistance with your tickets, please call 612-624-2345, email umntix@umn.edu, or visit the Box Office located near the Ground Floor, East entrance Mon-Fri, 10:00 am-5:00 pm, and up to four hours prior to live, ticketed events.

Plan to Arrive Early!

Northrop is located in the heart of a vibrant, active campus and other scheduled events often impact traffic and parking availability.


Learn More - Explore These Themes

The content below derives from the Northrop Across Campus Program that supports Northrop's mission towards intersections between performing arts and education for the benefit of all participants now and for generations to come.

Find ways to make thematic connections to these suggested topics:

  • Choir
  • Vocal Studies
  • Organ Studies
  • Music Theory
  • Music History
  • Conducting
  • Religious Studies


Start a conversation about the performance, or encourage reflection, using these questions as inspiration.

VocalEssence, a premiere choral music organization based in Minneapolis, will be performing alongside University of Minnesota Brass Ensemble and Northrop’s historic pipe organ. For the first time, all of the VocalEssence performing ensembles–ranging from high school students to seniors–join together on stage to celebrate the season of wonder. 

  • How does music help people connect through different stages of life?
  • In what ways has music informed your relationships or cultural practices? 
  • How do you think an artist holds an audience’s interest in a piece that is often performed? 

Caroling is a great way to remember beliefs, traditions, and stories passed down for generations. Christmas is a holiday that is recognized world-wide and is celebrated around the time of the winter solstice.

  • What other cultural celebrations take place during the winter solstice?
  • What musical traditions define these cultural celebrations?
  • Do you think it is important to celebrate seasonal events? Why or why not?

In the NEA’s landmark Creativity & Aging Study: The Impact of Professionally Conducted Programs on Older Adults (2006), researchers found that individuals involved in weekly participatory art programs reported better health, fewer doctor visits, and less medication usage, as well as improved mental health and increased involvement in activities. 

  • Do you believe that engaging in an artistic practice from a young age can yield benefits well into adulthood? Can you list any positive impacts that you might have experienced from an artistic practice?
  • While art is not therapy, artistic practice can be therapeutic. As a viewer or an artist, how have you experienced the relationship between art and self discovery?


Minnesota State Arts Board logo

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.