Garrison Keillor is the host and writer of "A Prairie Home Companion" and the author of numerous books, including Lake Wobegon Days, The Book of Guys, Love Me and Homegrown Democrat. He was born in Anoka , MN , in 1942 and graduated from the University of Minnesota . He lives in St. Paul with his wife and daughter. He has two grandsons. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Letters and St. John the Evangelist Episcopal church.
Philip Brunelle, artistic director and founder of VocalEssence, is an internationally renowned conductor, choral scholar and performer, working enthusiastically—and tirelessly—to expand audiences for rarely heard works of the past and unique new music. His conducting engagements have taken him across the United States, South America and Europe, including the New York Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, The Berkshire Choral Festival and Oregon Bach Festival.
In 2002, Philip served as president of the Sixth World Symposium on Choral Music, which took place in Minneapolis-St. Paul and served on the Artistic Advisory Committee for the Eighth World Choral Symposium in Denmark 2008. In 2006, he served as artistic director and conductor of America Sings!, a concert held in Washington, DC to launch the NEA initiative, American Masterpieces: Choral Music. He chaired the program committee for the American Guild of Organists national convention held in the Twin Cities June 2008. He also serves on the boards of Chorus America, the International Federation for Choral Music and St. Olaf College.
Among his many awards are honorary doctorates from St. Olaf College, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. John’s University and United Theological Seminary. Chorus America honored Philip with its most prestigious award, the Michael Korn Founder’s Award for Development of the Choral Art, and the American Composers Forum named Philip Brunelle “2007 Champion of New Music” for his support of contemporary music and composers of today. He has been honored by the governments of Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom for his promotion of their music.