Celebrate Spring with Saint Paul Vocal Forum!

Our spring concerts have as their focal point Libby Larsen’s Missa Gaia, a sacred celebration of the Earth and all of its magnificent diversity and interconnected life. Once again Saint Paul Vocal Forum will be collaborating with local musicians for a moving and inspiring program of music featuring women composers from Minnesota and North Dakota. Joining the choir will be Zach Baltic (percussion), Patrice Pakiz (oboe), Jennifer Sylvester (soprano voice), Steve Norquist and Kathleen Bartholomay (piano), and the Lake Street Quartet. As always, the concert is free and open to the public. Free-will donations will be collected at the event. Mark your calendars!

Circle Round!

Our November 20 performance with New Day Street Choir was a joyful experience for everyone involved. Here is a seven-minute film in which members of both choirs talk about the process of working together on this event. It was shown as part of the concert.

SPVF director Karin Barrett formed New Day Street Choir in 2015, and the two ensembles have combined for special events in the past, including the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Higher Ground St Paul shelter and housing facility of Catholic Charities.

Member of Saint Paul Vocal Forum and New Day Street Choir at the Dorothy Day Center groundbreaking in October, 2015.

Member of Saint Paul Vocal Forum and New Day Street Choir at the Dorothy Day Center groundbreaking in October, 2015.

Karin writes, “Aware of the power of music to heal and to bring people together, we offer CIRCLE ROUND as an opportunity to explore and widen our own circles.” SPVF is grateful to the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council for supporting this program with a generous grant.



Singing Love!


Saint Paul Vocal Forum performed with the Lake String Quartet and with Michael Dennis Browne for two concerts in the spring of 2016. “Sing Love, Be Love” featured beautiful music including works from Eric Whitacre, Morten Lauridsen, Z. Randall Stroope, Gwyneth Walker, Dan Forrest, Elizabeth Alexander, and René Clausen, among others. Read what director Karin Barrett had to say about the program in her blog. Thanks to all the musicians and audience members for their support!

Tusen takk!

Saint Paul Vocal Forum thanks those who attended the Nordlys concerts! We had wonderful audiences for both performances. For a taste of the experience, see this video of our performance of Ola Gjeilo’s “Evening Prayer” at Mindekirken. It features Peter Vircks on saxophone. Thanks, Cindy, for sharing the video! You can also view Ann’s invitation to the concerts (in Norwegian) here.

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Thank you to our “Nights of the Soul” audiences!

Saint Paul Vocal Forum was thrilled by the presence and participation of our audiences for our performances on the last weekend in May. SPVF would also like to share our gratitude to the Lake String Quartet for its beautiful contributions, adding great depth to the music of this concert and to Steve Norquist for his deft concert performances and steadfast assistance in rehearsals. Finally, SPVF would be adrift without the vision and leadership of Karin Barrett, our artistic director. Karin does a wonderful job of making certain that our concerts are events. Her attention to developing thematic elements, incorporating poetry, and involving audience members are essential to “the SPVF experience.” There is more to come, so stay tuned!

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“Nights of the Soul” with Lake String Quartet, May 31, 2015




Thank You Notes

LoveNotesSq600Our first “Friendraiser” was a great success! Thank you to the many people who helped make it possible,  including donors for the silent auction, Unity Church-Unitarian for the venue, Karin and the singers for their preparation and performance, and the many friends—new and old—who came and made it all worthwhile.

Giving Thanks for our Amazing Audiences!

Thanks to all who came to our 10th Anniversary Concert!  It was a joy to sing such beautiful music for such a wonderful audience.

As we prepared for our concert How Can I Keep from Singing? we asked our singers, “What keeps you singing?” This is what we learned from Jeff, Rochelle, Scott, and Ann. You can play through them all, or select from the “playlist” menu. Thanks to Douglas Thompson for producing the video. Enjoy!

10th Anniversary Concert

How Can I Keep from Singing?

Robert Lowry’s hymn, How Can I Keep From Singing?, gave this concert its title and led the program, returning again later in arrangements by Z. Randall Stroope and Gwyneth Walker. Also performed were Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Serenade to Music and Elliott Carter’s Musicians Wrestle Everywhere, along with music from Dominick Argento, Stephen Chatman, David Dickau, Victor Mio, and Brian Holmes. The program celebrated the joyous gift of music itself — a perfect way to celebrate ten years of sharing music with our audiences.


Glenn Berg Moberg and David Ryan Moberg

Prior to our concert, composers David Ryan Moberg (music) and Glenn Berg Moberg (text) discussed their Cecilian Madrigal, which had its first public performance that night. David founded SPVF back in 2003, and his brother Glenn has sung with the choir, so we were pleased to have them with us again as we celebrate ten years of concerts.

 SPVF performs Mio’s Ode to St. Cecilia at St. Mary’s Basilica


Saint Paul Vocal Forum at St. Mary’s Basilica in March. The choir returned in October for the Mass of Anticipation.

Saint Paul Vocal Forum Presented Chant Sacré: Sacred Song on April 5 and 6

ChantSacrePostcardFINALsmallerSPVF had the pleasure of sharing a profound Lenten music experience with audiences at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church in Roseville and Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Minneapolis. Chant Sacré:  Sacred Song highlighted the works of 20th century French composers, including Francis Poulenc, Maurice Duruflé, Olivier Messaien, Darius Milhaud and Gabriel Fauré. Interwoven among these masterworks were the prayerful chants of Jacques Berthier, who wrote the music for the monastic community at Taizé, France.

Special thanks to Rachel Brandwein for her lovely performances on harp for this concert!

Saint Paul Vocal Forum also provided music for the Missa Choralis at St. Mary’s Basilica in Minneapolis on March 29, 2014 (pictured above).

SPVF completes two amazing concerts!

"Finely Woven" Postcard

On November 23 and 24, 2013, SPVF performed its “Finely Woven” concerts to enthusiastic audiences. The program included music from Greg Jasperse, Abbie Betinis, David Evan Thomas, René Clausen, John Rutter, J. David Moore, Craig Hella Johnson, Elizabeth Alexander, Ruth Watson Henderson, Ysaye Barnwell, and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Michael Dennis Browne read texts from the music as well as poems by himself, E. E. Cummings, Czesław Miłosz, Wendell Berry, and Rumi. We also had the pleasure of witnessing the artistry of Nadine Sanders, through her display of beautiful weavings.


On Thursday, April 25, 2013, Saint Paul Vocal Forum performed selections from their spring concert in the Maud Moon Weyerhaeuser Studio for Minnesota Public Radio. The recording was broadcast Friday, April 26, on MPR’s classical station, 99.5 FM. If you missed it, you can listen here!

Thanks to our audiences for Earth Adorned – A Choral Bouquet!

Saint Paul Vocal Forum performed two concerts on April 27 and 28, including flower-themed music by Shirley Whitecotton, Morten Lauridsen, Benjamin Britten. More details about the program can be found here.

SPVF sings “Earth Adorned: A Choral Bouquet” – April, 2013