MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Minnesota choir will step on stage next week with the World’s Greatest Rock and Roll band.

VocalEssence was asked to join the Rolling Stones for their Minneapolis stop at TCF Bank Stadium. The group found out a month ago, but was sworn to secrecy until Wednesday.

“It’s wonderful,” VocalEssence founder and artistic director Philip Brunelle said. “It’s a great honor to be chosen. I was thrilled that we got the call.”

VocalEssence is a chorus comprised of men and women from the Greater Twin Cities. Twenty-four of them, hand-picked by Brunelle, will get satisfaction on stage with legends Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood.

(credit: VocalEssence)

(credit: VocalEssence)

Brunelle had specific instructions for who should meet the Stones.

“We want them to be all in their 20s or early 30s, with the exception of the conductor,” Brunelle said.

During the first stop in San Diego on the Rolling Stones tour, members of the Bob Cole Chamber Choir from Cal State Long Beach sang, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” with the Stones.

That song, from the 1969 Let It Bleed Album, is traditionally the song where a choir will join the Rolling Stones on stage. Brunelle won’t spoil the set list.

“I’m sorry, I can’t tell you what we’re singing,” Brunelle said. “That part has to be a surprise for the moment.”

He said this is a great way to introduce choral music to this audience.

“We do such a variety of music over the years,” he said. “So hey, it makes sense, the Rolling Stones, that’s where we belong.”

Brunelle and the 24 singers are doing private rehearsals now.

They will do a sound check next Wednesday afternoon at TCF Bank Stadium, and then will go on later with the Stones.

Jennifer Mayerle

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