Friday, March 26, 2010

The thrill of performing in a beautiful NYC concert hall...

"The Gala was really my best and favorite YPC experience so far. From the exciting rehearsals to meeting the prestigious musicians that would perform with us on that Monday night, my friends and I enjoyed every aspect of the performance. I myself loved venturing through the halls of the grandiose Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the live-in-the-moment, nostalgic experience while performing in front of a wave of spectators let me know that I can carry on with my life knowing that I have performed (quite nicely, on behalf of our divisions) at Jazz at Lincoln Center." - Tommaso, Intermezzo Chorus

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Art in many forms

"The Gala was my first performance with Concert Chorus. The concert was so inspiring that I have been doing paintings and drawings for my university art portfolio to convey the wonderful feelings I had during the Gala while singing. These feelings I cannot express to the full extent in words. It was magical to be on the stage; knowing that hundreds of people were sitting, watching and listening to us sing. The whole day was full of an intense mood anticipating the Gala. Everyone worked hard to bring this magnificent concert together. I’d like to thank everyone for making the night amazing." - Rosa, Concert Chorus

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Choristers' experiences with YPC

"There are no simple words to express the utter rapture that I feel from being in this chorus and being able to participate in something so earth-shattering as this organization. The endless opportunities and unfathomable experiences are too much for the mind to grasp. This chorus gives me hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel. To know that there are people out there that will fight for the goodness of the world and will turn potentiality into actuality is very comforting. To know that just by being a part of this is not just for today but will ultimately affect tomorrow is encouraging and inspiring. Join us, everyone, and contribute yourself to the harmonious chord in the resounding song of victory." - Jamal, Young Men's Chorus

"Singing with Concert Chorus and Young Men really helps us so is so good for us musically to be integrated with them!" - Maggie, Cantare Chorus

"I think the gala brings us closer together. We have so many rehearsals in preparation and get to spend a lot of time together to create an amazing show." - Katie, Cantare Chorus

"I've never done a gala with YPC before...I wasn't sure if all those hours of extra rehearsal and hard work would really pay off because it wasn't always perfect in rehearsal. But while we were performing at the gala, I knew it was all worth it for an incredible performance and that amazing feeling on stage." - Louise, Cantare Chorus

"I really enjoyed this recent gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Not only was it a great venue, a great program, and great choreography, but there it was a great sense of accomplishment for us all. For weeks leading up to the Gala we have had so many hours of hard work in rehearsals. Even though it was a lot of work, I felt it was well worth it for everybody in the end. More than anything, I enjoyed the Gala because I got to see and experience all of the faces and personalities of YPC. I was able to see YPC. We sometimes forget that outside of each of our private endeavors in YPC lies a greater cause, more germane to the true meaning of YPC. That night I got to see that." - Chris, Young Men's Chorus

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Gala reflections from two YPC seniors

"I stepped onto the stage with the bright lights in my eyes, and I knew this would be a great concert! Weeks of preparation for this one moment. The harmonic voices of the YPC mixed with Jacquie's intricate choreography and ideas brought every piece to life. Imagine and Bridge Over Troubled Water were especially moving as the YPC hit the stage with our natural, inner movement. Three eyears ago, the gala was my first concert, and now as a senior, I am back to the place where it all began." - Alphea, Concert Chorus

"The gala was really amazing and inspirational. This was my last gala, so it was really special to me. Performing with all the divisions was my favorite part, because I know the children from the Prelude Chorus will one day be in Concert Chorus. To know that the younger choristers will be walking in the same footsteps that I am now, is really inspiring." - Andrea, Concert Chorus

Monday, March 22, 2010

To YPC, from Gala Guest Composer Rob Kapilow

Dear Francisco,

Congratulations on your amazing gala! I have to tell you how happy I am that you commissioned Crosstown M42! I loved writing it with Fred--your instinct about writing it and pairing me with Fred could not have been more perfect. I was thrilled that we somehow got it together and did it last year--even with my mess of a score--and did it on the Radio. Your instinct was dead on--it was perfect for the occasion. I also think your instinct to put it on the gala was incredibly perfect. It was the right piece to show contemporary music for that occasion--not too serious, not incongruous with all the pop music, but fun and accessible. I also think your instinct to orchestrate the piece was excellent. At the rehearsals, you could hear how good the whole thing could sound.

I was delighted to have the chance to speak before the piece and say what I truly felt about you and the organization. What you have achieved with these kids is amazing. I never really saw them all together nor heard the stories of the group's beginning. Hearing those 2 girls at the dinner speak at what YPC meant to them brought tears to my eyes (being a teacher at heart myself). I hope you can take in what an amazing thing you are doing for these kids--as well as the composers like me who are lucky enough to work with them. Sometimes it can be hard, when you're in the middle of things, to really take in what you're accomplishing--but it is extraordinary. It has been a privilege and a joy to work with you and the group. Please tell them how much I adore them. I hope some day children will speak about me the way those girls spoke about you. That was the real thing--the thing that really matters and it's you who make it all possible. Congratulations on who you are and what you do.

All best,

Reflections on the March 15 gala from YPC's younger choristers...

"When I first set eyes on Rose Hall my mouth hung open. I was stunned. A whole orchestra was going to play for us, lights as bright as stars were on the stage, and long rows of seats seemed to surround the whole theatre. Right before the show a whole valley of butterflies seemed to be flying inside of me. When I was climbing the stairs to the balcony to perform, I felt like an artist. It was amazing to perform with a Broadway star and other amazing artists. Hundreds of peoples' eyes were glued on us. Each song had a different message. Singing with all the other choristers and artists made me feel so lucky to be part of the YPC chorus. It made me feel like I could accomplish anything in life." - Noah, Intermezzo Chorus

"My favorite moment was when we sang "Feelin' Groovy" - the whole audience loved it!" - Jackson, Prelude Chorus

"It was so much fun being with all of my friends and singing my heart out! I loved the colorful lights. It meant so much to me to look at the big audience and think they all came to hear us." - Julia, Prelude Chorus

Friday, March 19, 2010

Gala reflections from a graduating senior

"I'm still getting over the gala. That is, the amount of energy we put into the show, how much fun I had, and the hours and hours of sleep I missed preparing for it. YPC galas are never easy feats. I try to think about performing in front of 1,000 audience members and how so many hours of rehearsal on the weekend is really, genuinely worth it.

Everything really came together backstage and onstage at the Gala - we made every entrance and exit. More importantly, we sounded great! Bridge Over Troubled Water was my favorite. Pretty much anything with soul is my favorite thing to sing. The concert hall looked unbelievable with the house lights turned off and hundreds of tiny lights flickering in the dark during Imagine.

And Crosstown M42 was so much fun. I love watching Robert Kapilow speak. He has so much energy and passion. I'm so lucky to be able to work with talented composers and perform pieces by people like Mr. Kapilow; it makes me really proud to be a member of YPC. His speech about the chorus was especially generous; I feel like I'm a part of something important and great.

It didn't occur to me that this was my last Gala in YPC ever; I was too in-the-moment. However, I'm jealous of the Prelude and Intermezzo choristers who get to do ten more of them. YPC may have taken up the majority of my extracurricular life for the past decade (yes, it's been a decade since I joined), but it's shows like the Gala that remind me that YPC has given me some of the most incredible experiences and opportunities I will ever have."

- Jared, Young Men's Chorus

More words from the choristers about Monday night's gala!

"I loved rehearsing with the New York Pops! It's my third time singing with that orchestra. When we were preparing for the Gala, we kept going over Sing, Sing, Sing. I love that song and I could have sung it all day. We all finally got it together and it was perfect at the Gala." - Scarlet, Prelude Chorus

"The Gala is always one of my favorite concerts! It's one concert where you can see our entire choir as a whole instead of as individual divisions, and hear how voices from ages eight to 18 can mix in perfect harmony. My favorite song was probably Imagine, because of its story of how the world and all people should live in harmony and peace without anything in the way, and that, I think, is what YPC is all about!" - Nicholas, Young Men's Chorus

"It was a fun night. We got to sing on the stage and our parents got to watch us and clap for us. The performance was wonderful! I enjoyed singing all the songs. I worked very hard. I was very proud and happy to be with my Prelude friends." - Maxine, Prelude Chorus

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Choristers speak out about the gala - fun performing with each other and with guest artists!

"It was fun working with Sean (Bradford) and the New York Voices! Kim (Nazarian, from the New York Voices), told us to just have a good time on stage and we did! It was fun to rehearse all of the songs and it just felt like we were important people because there was so much applause. I love YPC!" - Charlotte, Prelude Chorus

“Monday’s concert was amazing. The enthusiasm from each division was remarkable, and I wish I had been in the audience to hear some of the reactions and to watch the chorus. The most impressive were the youngest choristers – they look up to the older divisions, they saw how we enjoyed ourselves and they imitated it and had a wonderful time!” - Troy, Young Men's Chorus

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Supporters, Guest Artists and Choristers Come Together at Gala Concert and Benefit

On Monday, March 15 all divisions of the YPC joined special guest artists The New York Pops, Sean Bradford, Maurice Hines, Robert Kapilow, New York Voices and Dafnis Prieto for an evening of song and celebration at It's Up To You, New York, YPC Shaping Lives Through Music, A Gala Concert and Dinner benefiting the programs of YPC. Sean Bradford, YPC and The New York Pops started the evening with John Legend's If You're Out There and concert guests enjoyed a compilation of music celebrating New York that included classics like Uptown Girl, On Broadway, Boy from New York City and The 59th Street Bridge. YPC Choristers were joined by Satellite Schools PS 75, PS/IS 178Q and PS 1. The Prelude Division joined New York Voices for a swinging version of Sing, Sing, Sing and the musical event showcased the extraordinary talents of all the choristers and guest artists with music like Trio Absolute featuring Dafnis Prieto and Si O Si Quartet and Crosstown M42 with choristers alongside Composer Rob Kapilow. Maurice Hines and the Manzari Brothers tapped out a lively rendition of It Don't Mean A Thing. The evening ended with a magical moment when all divisions joined together to sing John Lennon's Imagine. Mr. Holcomb Noble and Toyota were honored at the dinner which followed the concert. Funds raised at the event help support the programs that serve more than 1100 children who participate annually.

Friday, March 12, 2010

YPC performed with Kronos an exciting review

On Thursday, March 11, members of YPC joined Kronos Quartet, under the direction of Francisco Nunez, to perform a world premiere of Another Secret eQuation, a YPC-Kronos co-commission. YPC enjoys a continued relationship with Kronos and with Terry Riley after performing Riley's In C at Carnegie Hall last year! Check out the review from Time Out New York!

Click to check out the review!

Gala Guest Artist, Sean Bradford, Rehearses with YPC!

The gala is just days away...and a whole weekend of rehearsal is ahead! Kicking off the weekend, we had a Friday night tutti rehearsal with all divisions of the YPC, and welcomed special guest artist Sean Bradford to our rehearsal!

Sean told us all about his upbringing and education, and about the outreach he does for children around the world through theatre and music. The children were so enthralled with his story and with his incredible voice! He will join us in opening the show with John Legend's "If You're Out There" and return to the program singing with YPC on "We Will Lift You Up," written recently by Francisco Nunez and Jim Papoulis in response to the disasters in Haiti.

Sean is one of many exciting guest artists in Monday nights' line-up...including Maurice Hines, New York Voices, Dafnis Prieto, and others! See you there!!