Thursday, May 28, 2009

satellite concert finale

Jim has asked the kids to stand up and do a little dress rehearsal. Francisco has joined the group on stage to play percussion. The kids sing it like they've sung it forever! Rousing applause.

Jim stays on the piano to lead the kids in the finale.

Elizabeth introduces a special guest -- Barbara Murray of the DOE. Thanks for coming to the concert, Barbara!

Now we're singing Jim's Oye -- the theme song of the concert. Sounds like a little carnival around here -- some of the kids are rocking and swinging. Escuchalo!

Next is YPC's signature song, Jim's Give Us Hope. Sums up the mission of YPC. Always brings the house down. These kids are going back to their schools and neighborhoods after this concert, but they'll have this one glorious morning to talk about all summer.

If you were in the concert, send us your comments! We'd love to know what your experience was like!

Nice to have you guys with us. Watch for the next YPC LIVE blog next week!!!

ypc has a new song!

Now we need just 1 more verse, and this new Jim Papoulis song is done. We have 5 minutes to finish the song, then rehearse it, then actually perform it at the end of this concert. Whew.

Here's the last verse, c/o some brilliant ideas from the kids:

I see the light as it's shining in me
Without my world I am fading away (great line from 1 of the kids!)
Is there a way you can see me

now for the chorus

Now we're working on the chorus in a major key, a little happier now: the kids keep throwing out some lines, and here's what we come up with.

My world is changing
A world that one day you will see
And as I'm searching
I find a place to call my own

We have a chorus!!

Now we're singing from the top. First verse and chorus. Incredible that this song is actually shaping before our eyes (and ears).

jim's song is being created

Some of the lines the kids are suggesting are simply so poetic. "Will somebody know I am in this world?" 

Sophia has been writing the lyrics on a blackboard on stage. So far:

Raindrops are falling inside my world
Is it a world that I one day will know
Is there a way you can see me

groovin' with jim

Jim suggests something groovin'. All the kids love the idea. We'll start with a minor, do a major for the chorus, then go back to minor.

Now he's asking them what's going on in their heads so we can add some words. The kids throw out some ideas. Here's one: Raindrops are falling everywhere. (A little darkness here, says J. He suggests: Raindrops are falling inside of my world.)

J adds a crescendo. Then a beat. The song is quickly shaping up. John has added some percussion. J plays the piano and the kids are singing that one beautiful line.

workshopping with jim

Jim: what do we need to write a song?

Answers: rhythm words emotion a beat.

J: what emotions?

A: happy sad excited frustrated proud.

J: what's the difference between a major and minor chord? (Jim plays some chords.) First rule, says Jim, is you need to say what you want to say. Talk about what's going on in your head.

what is a song

Jim asks the kids what is a song. Some answers:

Putting words into your feeling and saying how you feel at the moment.

Melody and harmony, notes mixed together with words.

Jim then asks what kind of music they listen to:

Answers: Rock. Jazz. Hip hop. R&B. Slow rock. Rap. Rock n roll. Reggae. Classic. (Whew. Jim has been waiting for this...)

Jim: what do we need to write a song? Somebody says "rhythm." Jim asks them to spell it (or give him their money, haha). 3 tries, and someone gets it. Yey.

jim papoulis workshop

We're close to the finale of the concert. We have a songwriting workshop with special guest Jim Papoulis. We are clearing the stage to prepare for the workshop. This is a first in the program.

Elizabeth asks the kids to raise their hand if they've ever sung a song by Jim. Everybody does. And when he comes on stage, imagine the rousing welcome. Kind of like Michael Phelps walking in.

sing sing sing

PS75's 2nd song is the classic Sing, Sing, Sing -- probably sums up the spirit of our Satellite program and concert. The program gives our kids professional lessons and a chance to sing their hearts out at places like the awesome 92nd St Y.

You can't help but swing to this number. There's 1 boy in the 2nd row who's swinging like Fred Astaire!

and now, PS75

But not before Elizabeth leads the house in a rousing reprise of Hine Ma Tov!

Now we have a humongous group of grade 3,4,and 5 children on stage, all from PS75 on the UWS. Amy is conducting. They are singing When I Close My Eyes by Jim Papoulis. (One of the kids is wearing a tie over his lime green t-shirt -- who says YPC doesn't start fashion trends?)

ps1 rocks

Hine Ma Tov! Feel like dancing! BTW our kids from PS1 are so cute and young -- grades 3,4, and 5. 

We're asking people to guess how many parts this song is. Hmm. The answer is: 2.

ps1's turn

PS1 is our Lower East Side Satellite and have been with the program for years! Amy is conducting again, and Elizabeth is asking the audience to listen how many parts the second song, Hine Ma Tov, is in. They're singing Manx Lullabye now.

BTW 3 of these Satellite Schools are going to do the NYSSMA competition next week. The last time we did that, we got gold and silver.

hs489 and hs515 -- 2nd song

Jon Holden is conducting now, the kids are performing We Belong. We have a good number of new immigrant students from Asia in this batch, mostly from HS515. The Satellite Program continues to reach out to diverse communities throughout the 5 boroughs. And get them singing and having fun in our multicultural family. Glad to have you guys on the program!

hs489 and hs515 in the house

We have been singing treble voices, but now these are high school kids, so their voices have changed and you will hear (or imagine) some lower voices and a wider range. This is the biggest group of HS students we've ever had -- 33 on stage.

Sophia Miller is conducting. They're singing Sarah McLachlan's I Will Remember You. YPC also sang this at the 9/11 Memorial. Lovely and heartbreaking.

Wow, these kids are TALL.

live blog of YPC Satellite Concert

We are live blogging YPC's Satellite Schools Concert from the 92nd Street Y. Stay tuned. HS489 and HS515 are coming next!

ps/is178q -- 2nd song

The 178 kids are singing Paul Read's Birdsong. Ah Spring. Actually, it's early summer, but it feels so youthful here. BTW, this is the school's first year in the program. They sound like they've been singing with us forever. Great work, Amy.

ps/is178q in the house

Now it's PS/IS178Q in the house! Amy Kotsonis is conducting. These kids come all the way from Jamaica Estates, Queens. Some of them have accessorized their YPC t-shirts -- talk about great fashion sense! They're singing Allan Naplan's Al Shlosha D'Varim, a really sweet song.

Wow, I just counted 57 kids on stage. You rock, 178!

ps 268 on stage

John Hatfield opens Irving Berlin's Blue Skies with some rocking drums -- boy, these kids can swing. And they're only in grades 3-5!

ps 268 goes on stage

PS 268 is our Satellite in Brooklyn. It's their third year in the program. Sophia Miller is conducting. (Dev Director Christina says she loves their shirts.) (Colorful.) They are singing Little Firefly by Larry Schultz, in 2 parts.

OYE!!! YPC's Satellite Schools rock the 92nd Street Y

Oye! Hear our children sing! We are here at the 9nd Street Y, and Satellite Program director Elizabeth is on stage introducing all our conductors, pianists, production staff, and Artistic Director -- all to rousing cheers from our wonderful kids.

It's a rocking event -- and we'll be live blogging this for the next hour. Stay tuned!

Now E. is asking the kids to practice how to applaud. Really good. Things are off to a great start.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Live on the Web: YPC's Radio Radiance!

YPC goes live on the web on Tuesday, June 2, when we introduce Radio Radiance!

An innovative radio/internet program created by the Young People’s Chorus of New York City (YPC) under the artistic direction of Francisco J. Núñez, Radio Radiance will be launched during a live performance and webstream from WNYC New York Public Radio’s Jerome Greene Performance Space. The four-episode program is presented in collaboration with WNYC and American Public Media (APM).

Don't miss this historic moment! To watch the live webstream on June 2, log on to beginning at 5:30 p.m. To read a moment-by-moment account of the entire process--from closed-door recordings to conversations with composers to the live performance itself, catch this blog starting at 3:00 p.m. -- and send in your comments.

Radio Radiance will introduce four new commissioned works by YPC from award-winning composers Eve Beglarian, Robert Kapilow with foley (sound effects) artist Fred Newman, Meredith Monk, and Gabriela Lena Frank, all known for taking music in new and surprising directions. Two of them, world premieres by Beglarian and Kapilow, were written especially for radio and digital technology. All four works will be performed by YPC and presented as self-contained episodes. The works represent Radio Radiance’s mission “to present innovative choral music and explore vocal extremes."

Radio Radiance is hosted by WNYC’s John Schaefer and APM’s Fred Child and is being recorded at WNYC’s Jerome L. Greene Performance Space before a live audience of special guests and children from YPC’s Satellite Program in NYC public schools.