SAINT PAUL, Minn. — VocalPoint Chorus just ended its nearly two-decade run over the weekend.
Based in Saint Paul, the chorus is a unique blend of singers, musicians and artists who come together to tell meaningful, impactful stories. The chorus partners with a nonprofit each year and uses music and visual arts to celebrate the nonprofit's mission and to great success.
"We have raised over $384,000 in 19 years," said Jennifer Anderson, artistic director of VocalPoint Chorus. "I'm proud of that. I'm really grateful for people who have been so generous through the years, to our audiences who have been generous, to the choir [members] who donate all of their time and energy for this."
Anderson helped create the chorus after a massive tsunami devastated Southeast Asia in 2004. "We felt so far away from it and also so helpless in how can we possibly contribute to helping the people who were affected, and somebody said, 'Well, you know, we like to sing, we could sing;' and we thought, 'Well, okay, I guess we can,'" recalled Anderson.
That first concert raised just shy of $15,000. "After that first year, we just decided to make it an annual event." Over the years, many nonprofits benefited, including Open Arms of Minnesota, Avenues for Homeless Youth, Neighborhood House, The Advocates for Human Rights, Upstream Arts, One Heartland, Twin Cities R!SE, Walk-In Counseling Center and the Lift Garage.
In their final season, VocalPoint is raising money for Urban Roots. "I'm thrilled that it's our final one. I love what they do. I love that young people are learning how to grow things and getting their hands in the dirt, and they're learning about the importance of patience and of tending to something," said Anderson. "I feel like we have tried to do that for our 19 years, and those are just good life lessons for all of us to know and learn from."
And now comes Anderson's final bow. "After 19 seasons, it felt like the time had come to say 'Well done,'" she said. "We've had over 400 singers through the years. We've had thousands and thousands of people in our audiences."
All stepped up and raised their voices to make a difference.
As for Anderson, she's taking a well-deserved break and leaving her options and heart open for a new adventure. "Something's out there. Something's next."
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