Monday, July 25, 2016

In One Word: Mont La Salle Performance

Collectively written by YPC Concert Chorus and Young Men

Choristers’ responses to the prompt “describe how you felt about the concert at Mont La Salle,” in the form of a word cloud --

YPC Word Cloud.png

Words that came to choristers’ minds most frequently: passion, passionate, and powerful.

Read more about the performance in Maggie’s blog post. Hats off to these YPC choristers for giving such a memorable performance.

The Greatest Feeling: Moving Someone Through Music

Written by YPC Chorister Maggie, Age 17

Hello readers! My name is Maggie, and it’s hard for me to believe, but I have been in YPC for 9 years now. Over the years, I have made countless amazing memories with my fellow choristers (and great friends).


I am currently on my third tour with YPC, with stops in New York, California, and Texas. On July 21st, we performed at the Mont La Salle Chapel in Napa Valley, California and I can confidently say that it was one of the most rewarding concerts in my 9 years with YPC. There is truly no better feeling than being confident that you have moved someone fully through your music, and YPC accomplished this at Mont La Salle.


YPC is so special because it transmits this rare feeling of community, inclusivity, and satisfaction, not only for the choristers, but for those listening as well. I know that moments like these will push me to strive for excellence, not only in YPC, but in every aspect of my life.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Behind the Scenes: Preparing for Summer Tour 2016

Written by YPC Chorister Sophie, Age 17

As this is my first year with YPC, I have certainly learned a lot of new things when it comes to music - from the actual performance pieces to the choreography that goes with them.  


In order to prepare for summer tour, I needed to familiarize myself with a wide variety of songs and movements. I learned that this process is not only about memorizing notes, lyrics, and moves, but also about personalizing and "marrying" each and every selection as part of a greater whole.


Preparing for summer tour has taught me to think quickly on my feet, and given me the motivation to go the extra mile to make these new pieces performance ready. I will carry this knowledge with me into my upcoming school year. I am a rising senior and I know the school year will be extremely demanding - both academically and mentally. I will utilize these new skills that I have acquired on tour in order to aid me in this challenging year to come.

Monday, March 28, 2016

YPC’s New Community Chorus!

As one of YPC’s new Conducting Fellows, I’m thrilled to be working with the wonderful boys and girls of YPC’s new community chorus at Goddard Riverside Community Center. The chorus is a great opportunity for these children to make new friends and sing together as part of Manhattan’s Upper West Side community.

Our first rehearsal on February 23rd set the stage for an exciting semester: when 30 children from schools across New York City met for the first time in Goddard Riverside’s Bernie Wohl Center auditorium. The auditorium houses many afterschool activities for local students, but this one is different: the children learn singing techniques, play musical games, and create music together. For many children, this is their first time singing in a chorus!

YPCGR rehearsing at Goddard Riverside’s Bernie Wohl Center.

“I like it because I like singing and dancing.” –Luca, 6th Grade

“It’s fun! I like it. My favorite thing is the music, and I’ve made new friends.” –Brittany, 4th Grade

Now, just one month later, it’s clear that these children are ready and eager to learn more. We’re already looking forward to our performance at Goddard Riverside Community Center’s Spring Showcase on Friday, April 8th. Come see us!

Later on in June, we will combine with our other community chorus, YPC at Washington Heights and dozens of other choruses in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey, for a big concert at the Prudential Center. It’s going to be a fantastic spring!

We are always looking for more children to join us. If you or a child you know is interested in singing with the chorus, please fill out an audition interest form at

–Kari Francis

Friday, July 24, 2015

YPC Wins Five Gold Medals!

On Saturday morning, every spot in the 1,400-seat Scottish Rite Center auditorium was occupied by the singers and conductors from every participating chorus in the Golden Gate International Children’s and Youth Choral Competition and Festival.  Even so, there was absolute silence.  The competition winners were about to be announced.

Over the past several days, all of the competing boys, girls, and young men and women had made fast friends with each other, taking selfies, and exchanging email addresses at the picnic on Merritt Lake, on the San Francisco bay cruise, and between rehearsals.  

Now, they were all rooting for each other.  As each winner was announced, there were huge cheers, clapping, and stomping.  And that included YPC, who won five gold medals in every competition category:  Historical, Folk, Contemporary, and a new Golden Gate category:  Gospel/Spiritual.

So what did YPC chorus members learn from this unforgettable experience?

“I had an amazing, what you could call, “life-changing” time on YPC’s Golden Gate Festival tour.  I made friends and memories I will never forget.  On tour we met people from Indonesia, Austria, China, and many other places.  Singing with these other children, made me grow not only as an artist, but as a person.  On tour I also grew closer to people in YPC.  Before this tour, I had never seen traditional Indonesian clothing.  Now I have and their clothing is gorgeous.  At the end of the day, I look back at this tour and it wasn’t about us winning; it was about becoming a real family.  And I am glad to call YPC my second family. – Kayla, Cantare

“I had to decide to go on tour with YPC or go with my original plan of going to summer camp. It was a hard decision, but after coming here and meeting everyone, it reassured me that I made the right decision. It was a great experience, becoming closer to everyone at YPC and getting to know more about other countries from the other choirs. – Hannah, Cantare 

“In the 24 hours before the competition, I pushed myself beyond what I thought were my limits.  It is a great lesson for life.”  Isabel, Concert Chorus

Working to be Better than Best

July 17, 2015

In Wednesday’s amazing Spotlight Concert performances by both Cantare and Chorale at First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, the choristers gave everything they had in exceptional performances.  But Francisco and Elizabeth reminded them that for the week ahead, every chorus member had to work harder both mentally and physically to make each performance better than the last.  
In the competition finals on Friday at First Congregational Church of Berkeley, Cantare and Chorale stepped up again. So how were they able to take their “best” to the next level?

“To become better, we work off of each other’s energy and try to really connect during practice.  We use each previous performance to propel the upcoming one and remember the great feeling of a successful performance.  To do our best, we need to stop thinking as individuals, but as a chorus.”
Gabby and Hannah - Cantare and Sarea - Concert Chorus

“To become better we have to always keep in mind we are one unit.  We have to make it a habit to listen to each other in rehearsal and tech, so we are always on point.
David, Young Men

“We need to take the feelings we have on stage and release them into our performances.  We need to put our all into our performances.  Working together is the best….
Naya, Cantare 

“Finding the first competition to have been both thrilling and full of emotion, I realize that giving everything I have cannot be a one-time thing.  As a group, we need to keep going.  In order to progress beyond the exhilaration of a particular performance, we must remember those amazing feelings.  It isn’t enough to produce a mechanical performance.  Instead, it is crucial that we persevere, recreating the moment we felt most happy on that stage, and taking it even beyond that.  I believe this is the main thing that will push us even further in our endless willingness to strive for excellence.  With the love and support of our fellow YPC family, I know we will indeed become better…and better.”

Bryanna,   Concert Chorus

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Off To A Great Start!

July 15, 2015
Tuesday was the first big day.  It was when the competitions began. Cantare was scheduled as the first chorus to perform in the whole competition. Right after breakfast at the hotel, two buses loaded with YPC choristers set off for the First Congregational Church in Berkeley where many of the Golden Gate participants were preparing for their own performances.  The Cantare boys and girls were a little apprehensive, but by showtime at 2 p.m., Elizabeth turned their nervousness into a determination and focus that resulted in what Elizabeth told them (and they knew) was the performance of their lives. 
A few hours later, Francisco led the Chorale in their first performance in the competition. The Chorale did their YPC thing, winning loud cheers, but they weren’t finished. YPC may have completed their competition pieces, but they still had more to show.  So they followed up with an extraordinary performance of the West Side Story medley.  At first there was a stunned silence.  Then one by one just about every person in the audience stood to acknowledge what they had just experienced.
Pep talk before performance

Outdoor Cantare rehearsal in Berkeley

Historical Competition at First Congregational Church of Berkeley 
YPC Chorale in Competition
YPC Cantare's spotlight concert at First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley
Choirs from around the world in the Historical Competition
Afterwards, all of the YPC choristers enjoyed watching and cheering their new friends from so many other countries in their own performances, just as they had done for YPC.
There is much more to come--two big spotlight performances today and more competition performances later in the week.  So what do the choristers think so far?
“Both during our set and while watching others in today’s competition, I learned that true success is not defined by how well the judges rate you.  True success is feeling the spirit of the music, feeling the energy of those around you, and feeling the support of one’s peers.  No matter how we placed, YPC won in our hearts.  In that same way, so did every other choir that competed today.  The medals are just a formality.”  Daniel – Young Men
“Participating in today’s competition made the hours we spent rehearsing, studying our parts, and learning our dance moves feel completely worth it.  From performing with YPC, I have learned what it feels like to really commit to singing together as one voice. Listening to the other choirs left me feeling inspired.  It was so amazing to experience music and people from around the world, and I am so excited for the rest of the festival.”   Keerti, Concert Chorus

“Watching the competition and participating, as well, has had a huge impact on my perspective of the world, different cultures, and the way that they express themselves through music.  Music is a binding element for children and people from around the globe.  We gather together to learn all different kinds of vocal techniques used in areas such as Indonesia, Estonia, and Finland to add to their style of music.  Personally, I have grown as a musician by being exposed to such talent. I learned that working together is more of an achievement than succeeding individually, something I will remember for my upcoming years in YPC.”   Julia, Cantare

Photos by Nancy Bloom