Feliz Navidad, Happy Christmas, God Jul, and Veselykh Svya—this year’s Welcome Christmas features music for all to enjoy. Experience the passion of all four VocalEssence ensembles on one stage presenting carols from around the world. Hear new and familiar favorites including the world premiere of three beloved Latvian carols by composer Ēriks Ešenvalds. Let the inspirational sounds of more than 200 voices, brass and percussion, Northrop’s famous Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ, and a rousing sing-along ignite your holiday spirit!

Starting at 3:00 pm, join us in the Northrop lobby for a kid-friendly coloring corner, and at 3:30 pm, enjoy a performance by the VocalEssence Singers Of This Age featuring a few sing-alongs for the whole family!


  • VocalEssence Chorus
  • VocalEssence Ensemble Singers
  • VocalEssence Singers Of This Age 
  • VocalEssence Vintage Voices 
  • Brass and Percussion Ensemble 
  • Mary Jo Gothmann, piano and organ
  • Philip Brunelle, conductor 
  • G. Phillip Shoultz, III, conductor


Reviews and More

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:

  • Music: Voice, Conducting
  • Music Education
  • Music Therapy
  • Religious Studies
  • Geriatrics, Gerontology
  • Youth Development & Research

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

The VocalEssence teen choir, The Singers of This Age, released a collection of videos in 2021 titled “A Call to Action” after the Black Lives Matter protests in Minneapolis. This is just one example of how choir can inspire community engagement. According to a 2019 Chorus Impact Study, people who are singers are more likely “to give, volunteer, vote, and run for public office.” 

  • Why do you think choir makes people more active in their communities?
  • Can you think of ways musicians have given back to their communities?
  • What makes you feel connected to your community?

Last year, all of the VocalEssence choral ensembles—from high schoolers to elders—were on stage at once for the first time as part of Welcome Christmas at Northrop. 

  • Can you think of other situations where so many generations have come together to create something?
  • How might this intergenerational experience benefit both younger and older people?
  • Where in your life do you interact with people at a different stage of life than you? How does it contribute to your experience?

During their last Welcome Christmas concert at Northrop, VocalEssence performed many well-known Christmas carols, and sometimes asked the audience to sing along.

  • Why might VocalEssence ask for audience participation?
  • Do you have experience singing in a group? How did creating something with a group make you feel? 
  • Do you have any favorite holiday songs? Can you identify what you like about them?
  • Can you name winter artistic traditions associated with holidays other than Christmas, and/or related to cultural practices other than Christianity?


Minnesota State Arts Board - logos

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.