Episode 02 - Choral Direction, Part 1
Episode 02 is the first of several episodes focusing specifically on choral direction and the job of being a choir director. We open with a brief review of Philip’s choral directing schedule in the month of June 2016, traveling from South Korea to Sweden; followed by a discussion of how and why Philip became a choir director. Then we dive into the job description, the “101" of Being a Choir Director. Philip talks about why choirs and singing matter today, the essential need for a steady pulse, the differences in conducting singers versus instrumentalists, diction, rehearsal techniques, mixing voice types in a choir, as well as giving answers to questions from composer Dominick Argento and others. Philip also offers a few choral directing tips learned from Robert Shaw and over 50 years of conducting singers around the world.

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If you’ve got questions for Philip about choral conducting or music in general, please send them to us:  renaissancemanpodcast [at] gmail [dot] com.

And thanks so much for listening!

Music excerpts in the podcast include (in order of appearance):

"Quartet Of Swedes - Swedish Born And Swedish Bred" by Benjamin Britten, performed by The Plymouth Music Series (now VocalEssence) from Britten’s opera Paul Bunyan conducted by Philip Brunelle for via Virgin Classics (1987)

"Deo Dicamus Gratias" sung by the Plymouth Congregational Church choir off the album Praise And Thanksgiving: Music And Spoken Word, conducted by Philip Brunelle (2006)

"Tocotta In F Major" for organ by Charles-Marie Widor, performed by Philip Brunelle off the album Make A Joyful Noise (1998)

"Riksdagsmusiken In D Major - Riksdagsmarsch” by Joseph Martin Kraus, performed by the Orchestra of The Royal Swedish Opera conducted by Philip Brunelle (1996)

"Zuni Sunrise Song" by Anonymous/Brent Michael Davids, performed by VocalEssence Ensemble Singers and conducted by Philip Brunelle off the album The World Beloved - A Bluegrass Mass (2010)

"Since The Birth Of The Earth” by Benjamin Britten, performed by The Plymouth Music Series (now VocalEssence) from Britten's opera Paul Bunyan conducted by Philip Brunelle for via Virgin Classics (1987)

"Quartet Of Swedes - Swedish Born And Swedish Bred" by Benjamin Britten, performed by The Plymouth Music Series (now VocalEssence) from Britten’s opera Paul Bunyan conducted by Philip Brunelle for via Virgin Classics (1987)

"The Mask (text G. Gwendolyn) - The Mask_ No. 2. Heritage” by William Bolcom/Gwendolyn Bennett, performed by VocalEssence Ensemble Singers and conducted by Philip Brunelle off the album The World Beloved - A Bluegrass Mass (2010)


Episode 02 Photo Gallery


Philip, conducting a rehearsal of Center Opera, Minneapolis MN 1969
 
Philip, conducting a rehearsal with Garrison Keillor, circa 1980s


Philip, conducting a VocalEssence performance, circa 2010


Philip, conducting the Plymouth Congregational Church (Minneapolis) senior choir, April 2016