At the end of their 17th year Monroe Crossing once again collaborated with VocalEssence to produce their 17th CD. Mortals & Angels: A Bluegrass Te Deum is another adventurous work by composer Carol Barnett and librettist Marisha Chamberlain. Under the direction of the amazingly talented Philip Brunelle, VocalEssence is a renowned choir based out of Minneapolis, MN. This 12 movement piece features the VocalEssence Chorus, VocalEssence Ensemble singers, the Minnetonka High School Treble Choir and, of course, Monroe Crossing.
"The text of Mortals & Angels: A Bluegrass Te Deum flows with a natural ease, and the music is sincere
and without any pretense. This is a winning combination... "
To round out the performance, and recording, Carol Barnett composed choral arrangements for two original Monroe Crossing songs, "Micah 6:8" and "Into the Fire." The VocalEssence Chorus, under the direction of G. Phillip Shoultz III, join Monroe Crossing for a wonderful rendition of these two popular gospel tunes.
The collection ends with two more gospel tunes performed by Monroe Crossing. The classic "Unclouded Day" and a brand new song, "Billy Was Talking Only to Me." The lyrics of the latter were written by Gerald Laughing, a Native American military veteran who asked Monroe Crossing's Lisa Fuglie to compose the music. The entire collection was recorded at Roseville Lutheran Church on a single day in November of 2017.