Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Decade of Dreams: Elizabeth and the Catapult

"The self-assured Elizabeth and the Catapult prove what a sultry-voiced Greenwich Village habitue with a Norah Jones jones should do: Just let it flow"
-The Boston Globe

YPC Alumnus, Elizabeth Ziman, has been added to the star powered lineup of our 10th Anniversary Gala Concert that includes Country music sensation Rosanne Cash, Reggae Superstar Maxi Priest, and American Idol finalist Phil Stacey.

Join the us at Carnegie Hall on October 22nd and watch our young dreamers join an
alumnus dreamer on stage.

For more information about the YPC's 10th Anniversary Gala visit

Monday, September 17, 2007

A Decade of Dreams: Save the Children

On September 6, 2007, the Young People's Chorus of New York City performed at the 75th Anniversary Benefit for Save the Children. There was much excitement as five of our young choristers from the Cantare Division had the privilege of escorting former President Bill Clinton, former President George Bush, Sr., and Melinda Gates to the stage as they were honored throughout the night. It was a tremendous opportunity for the children to meet these high-profile people throughout the night. One chorister, Stephan, exclaimed, “I’m never washing this shirt again!” after Samuel L. Jackson greeted him backstage with a pat on the back.

The Young People’s Chorus was introduced at the end of the evening by Samuel L. Jackson, and as he announced the choristers, he was met with overwhelming applause as audience members immediately clapped in recognition. A special arrangement of Jim Papoulis’ “Give Us Hope” was prepared for the grand finale of the event, with Jim Papoulis himself playing the piano, and featuring the incredible solo voice of Tony-Award-Winner Idina Menzel. The choristers were thrilled as Idina Menzel smiled, sang, and hugged them on stage.

- Sophia Miller, Assistant Conductor

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Decade of Dreams: New Season Begins

This past week at YPC we had our Annual Voice Camp. It was a very fun and unique experience.We learned many new vocal exercises and many new ways of how to control our breath while singing. Not only did we have a blast but we also had AMAZING teachers.

There was Andrea (a professor at Lee University) who flew all the way from Tennessee just to work with us. She is one of the best vocal teachers/coaches I have ever worked with, even though it has not been many, and I enjoyed working with her. There was also Jackie who is an amazing dancer/choreographer. She is very passionate about her work and I think it is always an honor to work with her.

Voice camp was also a great time to get to know new member of the chorus, and to associate with new people and expand your horizons. During camp I also learned many new things about myself. I was able to hit a note I was not capable of hitting without a breath technique that we were taught. It was an experience of a lifetime, and at the end of it I kept wishing camp was longer because it was so much fun!

During voice camp I also made a brand-new friend that is now one of my best. After camp was over, I became excited for the up and coming year because it showed that we are now prepared and ready to take on any challenging music and concerts.

-Jeffri Peralta, Young Men Division

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

A Decade of Dreams: The New York Pops

77 of New York City's top musicians from the worlds of symphonic music, Broadway and recording...check.

Largest independent symphonic pops orchestra in the United States...check.

Only symphonic orchestra in New York City specializing in popular American music...check.

Performing with the Young People's Chorus of New York City on our 10th Anniversary Gala at Carnegie Hall...CHECK!

Join the YPC and The New York Pops at our 10th Anniversary Gala, Monday, October 22 at 7:00 p.m.

All 1,000 members of the YPC will perform with guests:
The New York Pops
Rosanne Cash
Stephen Petronio Company
Melinda Doolittle and Phil Stacey - 2007 American Idol Finalists
Tony Winner Christian Hoff and Bobby Spencer - Broadway Musical "Jersey Boys"
Soledad O'Brien - CNN
Maxi Priest - Reggae Superstar

Also Featuring:
James Taylor's "You Can Close Your Eyes" world premiere choral arrangement.

Brand new song - part theatre, part classical, part rap - written as a gift to the YPC by
Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, the Tony-winning collaborators of such productions as Ragtime and Seussical, entitled "The Song I Sing".

Concert tickets are on sale now:
Carnegie Hall box office
Carnegie Charge at 212-247-7800

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Decade of Dreams: James Taylor

No YPC Concert is complete without a world premiere. Through the Transient Glory series our children have sang dozens of premieres from a diverse gathering of the world's finest composers. On October 22nd the YPC will add one more premiere to their repertoire when they perform the choral arrangement of James Taylor's "You Can Close Your Eyes" in Carnegie Hall for our 10th Anniversary.

James Taylor has earned 40 gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards and 5 Grammy Awards in his lifetime. On October 22nd he will add one more award to his career when the Young People's Chorus of New York City performs "You Can Close Your Eyes" to close the Gala concert.

Monday, October 22 at 7:00 p.m.
All 1,000 members of the YPC will perform with guests:
The New York Pops
Rosanne Cash
Stephen Petronio Company
Melinda Doolittle and Phil Stacey - 2007 American Idol Finalists
Tony Winner Christian Hoff and Bobby Spencer - Broadway Musical "Jersey Boys"
Soledad O'Brien - CNN
Maxi Priest - Reggae Superstar

Also featuring:
Brand new song - part theatre, part classical, part rap - written as a gift to the YPC by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, the Tony-winning collaborators of such productions as Ragtime and Seussical, entitled "The Song I Sing".

Concert tickets are on sale now:
Carnegie Hall box office
Carnegie Charge at 212-247-7800

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Decade of Dreams: Rosanne Cash

As the summer comes to an end the Young People's Chorus of New York City begins to prepare for our 10th Anniversary Gala, A Decade of Dreams (Shaping Lives Through Music), on October 22nd at Carnegie Hall. This concert will feature the YPC and special guests, The New York Pops, Rosanne Cash, Stephen Petronio Company, American Idol finalists Melinda Doolittle and Phil Stacey, Tony-winner Christian Hoff and Spencer from "Jersey Boys", CNN's Soledad O'Brien, and reggae artist Maxi Priest.

Over the years Grammy winning singer, songwriter, and author Rosanne Cash has become a champion of the Young People's Chorus of New York City. The two have shared the stage at several concerts, and collaborated for the song "How Many Christmases" in 2006. It is an honor to have one of Country Music's greatest artists celebrate the YPC's 10th Anniversary on what will surely be an unforgettable evening.

Watch Rosanne Cash, daughter of legend Johnny Cash, perform her father's song, "40 Shades of Green".

Friday, August 3, 2007

YPC in the Studio with Neil Young

Arranger Darrell Brown giving the children pointers.
He encouraged everyone to slowly dance while
they sang.

Conductor, Elizabeth Nunez, keeping a close ear on
those pitches.

Choristers stretched throughout the day to stay in

Neil, Darrell, and the YPC posing the best way we know

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Life in the I.C.

Guest Writer: William Cabaniss

Every year on our week long trip to Ithaca, NY we experience something different. Last year, we were delayed quite a bit after a tree fell on the road because of flooding. We were stuck on the bus for almost three hours in the same place with only a few Oreos and the movie "Aquamarine"!

This year's trip was fun, relaxing, and thankfully the bus rides were short. After leaving the 92nd Street Y, we made good time and got there before sunset. We either went with our home-stays from the Ithaca Children's Choir, or to 'The House.' Through the next week were rehearsals, master classes, a couple of breaks, more rehearsals, and lots of swimming.

At the end of the week, we gave two concerts. The first one was with the YPC and ICC performing separately. We did an amazing job, and I think we did the best performances of "Walk in Jerusalem," and "When I Sing", ever. The next night was the tutti performance. It featured all of the CME participants conducting various pieces we rehearsed during the week, with Elizabeth conducting "We Will", and Francisco - the guest conductor for the week - directing us through "Desde Lo Hondo" and "Si Tu Suenas".

After that concert, we boarded the bus and headed off to Hershey Park! When we got there we had our 'end of tour memories circle' as Elizabeth likes to call it. After, I had mixed feelings about moving up to Concert Chorus, because the Intermezzo Chorus is such a great group, and has developed so much since I got there. The next day we had so much fun at Hershey Park! Overall, the trip was a blast and was unforgettable.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Graduation: An Underclassman’s Perspective

On July 5th, the Concert Chorus and Young Men’s division began their summer trip together with a concert at St Vincent’s Church for music teachers and educators. We sang a selection of our Transient Glory music and other songs that we had learned for the occasion. The Young Men joined the Concert Chorus for our traditional choreographed spirituals and also for "Cantique" by Jean Racine. The concert was for the American Guild of Organists and we were able to perform several songs with organ, some written by our own conductor, Francisco.

As usual, we left an hour late the next morning for our trip to the Catskills (held up by none other than our own conductor, Francisco). We stopped at Bear Creek Landing, where we were temporarily delayed by uncooperative weather, before we played paintball and minigolf. Bruised, wet, and tired, we arrived at the hotel. There, we had dinner, swam, and dressed up in our PJ’s for the traditional Senior Skit and Senior Circle.

The Senior Skit is a created by all of the Freshmen (that is, everyone who is not a graduating Senior). Usually modeled after a chorus rehearsal, the skit lovingly embraces the seniors by mocking and dramatizing their idiosyncrasies. It is created as a way to remind us all of why we love the seniors and will miss their unique personalities and characteristics. The freshmen try to act as much like the seniors as possible. They even sneak into their hotel rooms and take their clothing to wear in the skit. In addition to creating the skit, the freshmen write a song to commemorate the seniors. It is usually a take-off of a well-known tune or a one sung in chorus.

After the entertaining atmosphere of the skit, the entire chorus sits in a circle and we turn off all the lights in the room. Francisco shares with us the story of how the chorus began and why it is so incredibly important to continue what we do. We next hold graduation for the seniors, in which we welcome each senior, one by one, into the middle. Other choristers had an opportunity to speak to the person in the center before each senior gave parting words of advice to the chorus as they tried to explain what YPC had meant to them.

- Written by the YPC "Freshmen"

Monday, July 9, 2007

Dear YPC...

This was my first summer tour with the Concert Chorus and I'm thrilled to say it will not be my last. I came into the chorus judging people from things I have heard. The entire year I treated people according to rumors. I realized that was the most ridiculous thing anyone could ever think.

Tonight I recognized how each and everyone of the seniors and choristers are exceptional in their own way. All this time I excluded them from what I considered my circle and I am now ashamed of it. Tonight I recognized everyone's true colors were revealed, or at least this was the first time I accepted it.

I advise all choristers to interact with people they usually would not. My advice is to not wait for the last minute, like I did, to meet new people because they can be gone the next day. I love the YPC Seniors '07 and wish them the best in life. Now I can officially say I knew you guys. You are all amazing. You will be missed. I love you.

Nikaury Roman, Ooncert Chorus (Soprano 2)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

YPC at River to River Festival

The River to River Festival takes place each summer from June through September, in a variety of public venues that canvas all of Downtown New York - from Chambers Street down to the southern tip of Manhattan and across the island from river to river. The Young People’s Chorus of New York City will open up the River to River Summer Stars series at the Michael Schimmel Center at Pace University on July 9th at 7:30 PM

Composer Bruce Adolphe’s “Singing this Piece” has been a crowd favorite not only at the Transient Glory VI concert, but also at the YPC’s 10th Annual Spring Celebration concert. Bruce Adolphe visited the YPC Concert Chorus prior to Transient Glory VI to discuss his work. The footage can be viewed on the YPC website.

Join the YPC for this free concert and enjoy the masterful compositions and singing of Transient Glory VI.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Spring Celebration '07

Guest Writer:
Jeffrey Peralta
Young Men Chorus

This past Saturday was YPC's Annual Spring Concert. I felt that the concert was filled with joy, entertainment and or course tears, but tears of joy as we saw the seniors move on to accomplish greater things. There were also tears of sadness as we see one of our conductors move on to pursue her Masters degree at Yale University, which we are extremely happy for (even though it means her leaving us). I know I will greatly miss her.

The overall performance was great. I thought the Junior Chorus was adorable, like always. Intermezzo was great, and cute, especially the piece "When I Sing". They looked charming while they were doing the charleston. As a member of the Young Men chorus, I thought we were amazing. The pieces that caught the audience's attention were "Ramkali" which is an Indian Raga with very interesting rhythmical patterns, "Homeland" which is a song of beauty and nationalism, and of course, "Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat". It was my personal favorite because I am a Broadway and Showtunes freak.

The Concert Chorus delighted the audience with their performance of "Every Stop on the F Train" which was then followed by "A-Train" and "Heaven Bound Train" making it a night of...trains. Following every division's performance was the tutti. It was fantastic being a part of one of the four divisions coming together on stage and singing beautifully.

The chorus has greatly influenced me and hopefully other choristers as well that are unfortunate and don't have music programs in their schools. Most choristers and I feel that best friends are made in this chorus because we all have the love of music in common, leading to friends that last a lifetime. Along with experiences that you will never forget.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Bang on a Can!

The YPC is quickly becoming New York City’s “go to” choir, despite the ages of our choristers. This past Sunday’s performance at the “Bang on a Can” Festival is yet another example. The YPC Concert Chorus sang “Three Heavens and Hells” by the magical composer Meredith Monk, who was also present at the performance. It was wonderful to have Meredith with us where she helped to bring the piece alive for the audience. The new arrangement of this work was premiered by the YPC at the 92nd Street Y, Kaufmann Concert Hall, on April 21st at our Transient Glory VI concert. “Three Heavens and Hells” was also previewed by the YPC’s Radio Chorus on WNYC New York Public Radio’s Soundcheck with Jon Schaefer. The entire Transient Glory concert was broadcasted for WNYC’s American Music Festival 2007 on Tuesday May 29th.

The Bang on a Can festival is dedicated to commissioning, performing, creating, presenting and recording contemporary music. With an ear for the new, the unknown and the unconventional, Bang on a Can strives to expose exciting and innovative music as broadly and accessibly as possible to new audiences worldwide. 26 hours of continual music was performed during the 2 day event. For about ten seconds the crowd was on their feet to give the Concert Chorus a standing ovation. That is definitely our interpretation of performance Heaven.

The YPC would like to thank composer and Bang on a Can founder Michael Gordon for giving us the opportunity to be part of such a groundbreaking musical movement.

If you want to hear the YPC sing “Three Heavens and Hells” by Meredith Monk why don’t you join us this Saturday at our 10th annual Spring Celebration at the 92nd Street Y Kaufmann Audition at 8PM or on one of our many concerts throughout the city until July 9th – please check out the webpage for our calendar.

By the way, if you performed, or was one of the audience members standing at the World Financial Center, leave a comment with your interpretation of the event.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

2006 - 2007 Top Ten

Conductors Francisco and Elizabeth planning next year's Top Ten.

In honor of our 10th Annual Spring Celebration we are listing the YPC's Top Ten collaborations of the past year. Check out the list and tell us who is your favorite and why, or even suggest next year's Top Ten candidates.

YPC and Shakira? Why not!

1. My Chemical Romance
2. T.I.
3. Rufus Wainright
4. James Brown
5. Stephen Petronio Dance Company
6. Rosanne Cash
7. New York Pops
8. Ann Hampton Callaway
9. American Ballet Theatre
10. Bruce Springstein

YPC's annual Spring Concert is on Saturday June 9th, at the 92nd Street Y.
For more information visit

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Annual Inspiration

It’s hard to look in from the outside, the place where my rapidly lowering voice forced me to go. Though I am still very much part of the YPC as a member of the Young Men’s Division, it has been a very odd feeling for me each year to be relegated to the audience for the Transient Glory concerts (save appearances in one song each year). As a member of Concert Chorus from 2002-2004, I was lucky enough to perform in Transient Glory II-IV. As chorus was already my medium for escaping the monotony of school or any other issues in my life, Transient Glory provided me with a huge rush of exhilarating challenge and an enormous sense of accomplishment that would have been otherwise laughably unattainable.

Unfortunately, in the middle of my time in Concert Chorus I was unfortunately stricken very ill for a frustratingly long amount of time. Though I was forced to miss some time, the chorus became the only place (besides with my family) that I felt a constant stream of support supplemented with the opportunity to take part in extremely fulfilling concerts like Transient Glory. Suddenly, working on incredibly difficult pieces of music like David Del Tredici’s “Four Heartfelt Anthems” with supportive people who share the same core interests and goals made everything else seem insignificant.

Each year, I knew that from January through the end of April, I would have the opportunity to work on, (hopefully) perfect, and perform fascinating and sometimes frustratingly difficult new pieces of music written for us by some of the most amazing composers in the world. Many times we could even expect to have them visit a rehearsal and we could get a glimpse into their genius. The whole experience was a truly amazing one. I know that for me it instilled in me much greater determination, self-confidence, and musicality. The feeling of satisfaction of seeing pieces for the first time, freaking out about how hard they are and thinking that we can never pull them off, and then going on stage and nailing them in front of hundreds of people is unmatchable.

Though it is very tempting for me to want to live the experience vicariously through the current Concert Choristers, I try and find the positives of my new perspective on the experience. First of all, when you perform a piece, you are not able to hear the full effect of the piece. Since I have seen the last two Transient Glory concerts from the balcony, I have been able to see the pieces in their entirety on the day of the concert instead of waiting a few years for Francisco to release the CD. Though each year is obviously different, it is a somewhat good feeling knowing that I have been on that stage in this concert before. I understand how nerve-racking it is to be up there with the difficult repertoire and this perspective makes it even more gratifying to see the group sound and look incredible on a song (as they always do). Though I would obviously love to be there on stage again, I suppose that I enjoy being on this side of the lights, looking at an amazing concert while invoking the memories of when I was there doing the same thing.

Zachary Denkensohn, 17

Bass 2, YM

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Tarik O'Regan!!!

Today Tarik O'Regan came into rehearsal. He was really cool. In addition to his infectious British accect which everyone seemed to enjoy (the girls at least), I think he really reached out to us. I mean personally, I detest those children's songs that are written by middle-aged smug guys who attempt to relate to us and define us: "the next generation". They write sugary sweet rounds about joining hands and coming together because remember kids, we are the future!

No, Tarik is a really down to earth guy and it really got through that he worked hard on this piece; he worked hard to relate to kids in the city.
The Taxi, which is arguably one of our simpler pieces (against Steve Reich, hello!) is also a favorite of mine and of most I've talked to.
It's got this great pulsing beat and mysterious sound to it, not to mention awesome lyrics. The poem Tarik chose couldn't have been more perfect in channeling the feelings of youth. At my age at least, and especially since leaving my hometown of Miami almost a year ago, the text of The Taxi, which is that of leaving the one you love and the pain you feel as the city pulls you apart, is relevant.

Written by Christina Montero, YPC Concert Chorus Division

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Transient Glory 2007

This year has been my second time singing in Transient Glory. I can tell you from experience, a lot of work goes into making this concert the best that it can be. I have been singing with YPC now for about eight years, but nothing can truly compare to the dynamic of this concert, and the thrill you get of unveiling brand new, world premieres of newly commissioned music. It’s incredible when you think about it. I am sixteen years old, and there are children in this chorus who are not yet in high school, yet we have been given the opportunity to work with some of today’s most respected, renowned, and talented composers.

YPC has given me an infinite supply of
memories over the years that I will never forget and that have truly shaped me to be the person that I am today. That being said, Transient Glory is without a doubt one of the most meaningful and treasured YPC moments that I have been given. Sure, it’s a lot of of work. The amount of rehearsal time that this concert requires is so incredibly intense that YPC very shortly becomes a second home for us all. Sometimes I wonder how I could choose to give myself so much extra work. Yet watching everybody stay focused and work hard during rehearsals reminds me that we’re all in this together, working side by side to achieve something truly groundbreaking.

The music we are singing this year has been
challenging, but worthwhile. Meredith Monk’s piece “Three Heavens and Hells” was, I believe, a new experience for every chorister. She taught us how to use the voice as an instrument in itself. Though the text for the song itself may appear simple at first, the song has many layers and vocal techniques that give the song an entirely new energy. Meredith Monk taught us to let loose and not be afraid to use our voice to create unique and distinctive sounds.

Ned Rorem’s piece “Afternoon On A
Hill” was particularly beautiful. The different poems used for the text combined with the soaring melodies he created fit perfectly.

Steve Reich’s piece “You Are Variations” was
particularly challenging. We worked extremely hard to master the different rhythms used in the piece. However, this was one of my favorite pieces. The voice parts blend together to produce an amazing sound. I think we all became very focused and wrapped up in this song while singing it in rehearsals.

Bruce Adolphe’s piece “Singing This
Piece” was extremely fun to sing. The text, which is literally about singing a choral piece, was made up of comments that I have actually heard choristers make. It was very true to what it is like to sing a choral piece. The first time we sang it through, we could not stop laughing because all of the lyrics accurately describe a chorus.

Michael Gordon’s piece “Every Stop On The F Train”
was also a challenging song. It required complete concentration to sing, and taught me a lot about different rhythms. I now know that I can never get lost while taking the F train, because I know every stop!

Tarik O’ Regan’s piece “The Taxi” is incredibly
beautiful. The text, which talks about lost love and longing in the city, truly made me think. Set to Tarik’ O’ Regan’s energetic and vibrant music, this piece truly embodied the fast-paced city life. Every piece we have sung this year taught me something I didn’t know before. They challenged us as a chorus, and made us work our hardest. These rehearsals have made me realize what an incredible outcome you can create if you work hard, and I cannot wait to see the outcome of all of our persistence and determination at this year’s Transient Glory concert.

Written by Jessica Cannizzaro, Concert Chorus division of YPC