Thursday, October 21, 2010

From Kronos to the SAT's...

The Day the World Stood Still… for Two Hours While I Took the SAT IIs.

More stressful than a concert at Carnegie Hall, more tiring than going by bullet train to plane to bus in Japan, more difficult than any Michael Gordon piece, the SAT was devised to cause mass devastation to families and teenage self-esteem across America. I shudder thinking about the ridiculous amount of times I’ve had to wake up early at 6:15, solemnly shower, grab my #2 pencils (don’t you dare let them be mechanical!) and trudge out to the testing center.

Leaving the Kronos concert Friday night, my family and I took a joy ride to Princeton, New Jersey where I subsequently went to sleep for 5 hours, only to be woken up with shivering fear at 6; it was time. I took my achievements at the Lawrenceville Boarding School gymnasium, surrounded by other squirming seniors anxious to be done with their terrifying 1, 2, or 3 subject tests. The proctor read aloud: “Welcome to the SAT Subject Test. Testing will begin soon, but first we must go over some guidelines. No eating, drinking, or smoking is aloud during testing. If you are caught attempting to gain an unfair advantage by cheating, sharing answers, or discussing questions, your test will be taken and you will…” I could only imagine the list of horrific tortures the creators of the SAT could unleash on the poor student who dared look at another’s page. If they could summon out of thin air a list of malicious questions, consisting of five parts designed to confuse and trip teenagers up, who could imagine what physical evils they were capable of too?

But upon starting the exams, I quickly realized that my fears were misplaced. The test itself wasn’t frightening; I was letting my head get to me. I was my own obstacle. The math was the same thing I’d done in school last year. The literature contained types of poems I was used to analyzing. Nothing was new.

So I walked out of that exam feeling confident. Half the test is getting past the mental barrier. Like Michael Gordon’s “Exalted” piece, what looks intimidating and foreign at first, can be mastered by recognizing the similarities it shares with songs we’ve done past, and, of course, a lot of practice.

- Charlie, Young Men

Sunday, October 17, 2010

One of the Most Amazing Weekends Ever!

This is my second time at Camp Jewell. Right now we are in the dining hall drinking hot cocoa and rock climbing and other fun activities. This is a great experience for everyone in YPC, especially those who are new and have not gotten to know everyone while they have been in the chorus. We have been canoeing, rock climbing, and we have played a great game of wiffle ball. The talent show was funny and enjoyable. Overall, this is my second to last year on YPC and thinking about leaving makes me sad. Iwould love to do this again next year because it is so much fun. I love YPC. J

-Dianne, Concert Chorus

As the staff sits in the dining hall, preparing the clues for our scavenger hunt this afternoon, many of the girls are coming in and out for hot chocolate. A constant supply of hot chocolate, available 24/7, is certainly a plus in mid-October.

The groups are on their last rotation of activities right now - canoeing, playing archery and climbing the deceptively difficult climbing wall. It is so fun to see girls of every division playing together, and making new friends regardless of age.

I have to say though, that staying in a cabin with Cantare last night was a highlight for me. Half of us went to sleep or played cards, and the rest stayed up to relax and bond for a little while. Crammed onto a couple of bunks so we wouldn’t wake the others, we played games and laughed until the clock hit

midnight. The late night didn’t make waking up this morning any easier, but I can affirmatively say that I learned everyone’s name in my cabin! That, for me, is quite an accomplishment. It will be nice to go home and see so many familiar faces at rehearsal on Tuesday.

-Lindsay, Staff and Alum

Before yesterday, I had never traveled with YPC before, but I have always wanted to. I see pictures of everyone on trips and tours having so much fun, and I was so excited to try it for myself. I am so glad that I did! This has been one of the most amazing weekends ever. I met people in every division, watched a super awesome talent show, and, I admit, stayed up all night talking to my amazing friends and making new ones.

My favorite part of the weekend though, was watching the watermelon smash. One of the chaperones was blindfolded, and needed to find a watermelon, so he took his walky-talky and had someone direct him where to go, a genius maneuver! And the other adults began kicking the watermelon around like a soccer ball so he couldn’t smash it. It was so funny! I am so glad I came to Camp Jewell, and I’m definitely coming back!

-Sophie, Concert Chorus

Saturday, October 16, 2010

YPC Girls at Camp Jewell!

This is my first time at camp Jewell and I am having a really fun time

doing activities and we made an awesome cheer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Charlotte, Intermezzo

Camp Jewell. I think Camp Jewell is the best camp ever!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Kaitlyn, Prelude

Camp Jewell is so awesome! We get to hang out we other kids in YPC and get to know them while doing fun activities. Go Camp Jewell!

- Leila, Intermezzo

This is my first time at Camp Jewell and I am really happy about it! We have these teams in colors and I am in the orange group. We do lots of activities. I hope to do this again!

- Alyssa, Prelude

This is my second time at Camp Jewell (out of the three times I could go), and my first time as a CC-er. We got stuck in our canoe, won against the little kids in wiffle ball, and I got all m

y arrows on the target in archery. I can’t wait for the campfire tonight!

- Ariana, Concert Chorus

This is my first time at Camp Jewell and so far, it’s sooo fun!!! All the staff here and of YPC is awesome and my orange group teammates are awesome, too! They cheered me on when I was on the climbing wall and in wiffle ball. I hope to do this again next year because it’ll be another chance to have as much fun as I did this time!

- Maya, Intermezzo

This is my first time at Camp Jewell, and it’s so fun!! Go Green team! So far we played wiffle ball and we went canoeing. I hope to come back next year and have much more fun!

- Sofia, Cantare

This is my first time at Camp Jewell and so far I love it! We went rock climbing and cheered each other on. I hope I come back next year!

- Louisa, Intermezzo

This is my first time at Camp Jewel and I am having so much fun! It’s really nice to spend time with people in other divisions and get to know them better and spend time with other friends. I am really looking forward to the rest of the weekend!

-Miki, Cantare

Friday, October 8, 2010

YPC Performs with Kronos Quartet at (Le) Poisson Rouge Tonight!

YPC is performing two works with the Kronos Quartet at(Le) Poisson Rouge in the heart of Greenwich Village tonight!

The concert will include the world premiere of “Exalted,” a new work by Bang On A Can co-founder and Transient Glory® composer Michael Gordon and Terry Riley's "Another Secret eQuation," which YPC premiered with Kronos at Carnegie Hall in March 2010. Both works were co-commissioned by YPC and Kronos Quartet as part of YPC's Radio Radiance™ program for this season.

The week has been full of rehearsals preparing for tonight's concert and Sunday's recording session with the Kronos Quartet. The pieces are very intricate and challenging for the choristers, but extremely rewarding as well. Yesterday's rehearsal with the Kronos Quartet was like putting the pieces of the puzzle together, and suddenly there was the picture of two amazing works!

"Working with music composed by Terry Riley and Michael Gordon is both overwhelming and inspiring. These difficult pieces of music both push me to be a better musician and help spark an interest in contemporary classical music." - Emily

"For the past week we've been fortunate enough to work with a renowned composer and a lauded quartet, learning some of the most difficult, yet hauntingly-beautiful music. It's truly been an unparalleled experience!" - Charlie

"In working with Kronos, Gordo
n and Riley, the young artists of the YPC have been given a truly enlightening experience. As young artists the opportunity to work with professionals at their level is of incalculable value, and I feel we will be better musicians for it." - Hannah

Tune into the podcast on "Exalted" which features Francisco Núñez and three choristers discussing Gordon's work with a sneak-peak of the work itself:

"Exalted" Podcast

This is the first concert of YPC's "Out of the boX" series celebrating ten years of the Transient Glory® commissioning program. There are ten events that will occur throughout the year into Fall 2011 which commemorate "10 Years of Radical New Music for Daring Young Minds."

Camp Jewell is a Real Treat!

It was fun to sleep in the cabin. I liked the campfire and the big slide. I think my favorite thing was playing soccer on the big field. The scavenger hunt was very exciting. The food was not so good, but I liked the smores!

- Nicholas, Intermezzo

Camp Jewell was a great experience for all of its participants. In my opinion, the best bonding activity that we did was the scavenger hunt. All of the older kids worked with the younger ones in order to succeed in this activity. This meant that the older kids got to help the younger ones by giving the words of inspiration and at some points carrying them when they became too tired to run! All together I think that this activity was a great chance for the older choristers to bond with the younger ones and it gave everyone a great sense of pride through their teamwork.

- Spencer, Concert Chorus

Camp Jewell gave me a chance to meet new people and make friends. We did a lot of fun activities and games, like the watermelon game. It was good to see the boys from all the divisions, instead of only the boys in my division. Overall, it was a great, fun experience.

- Ross, Cantare

It was amazing! I had so much fun there. I could not believe I was actually there in person. It was like a living dream. You can do so many things there: you can play wiffleball in the new stadium, go rock climbing, stuff yourself with s'mores over a hot campfire - you're even allowed to take your own canoe out on the lake! And the food is great! And there's this really cool talent show. But you have to audition for it. I auditioned to be the emcee and I made it. Being the emcee let me see all sorts of acts, and tell a few jokes in the process. For those of you who are new to the Camp Jewell experience, you are in for a real treat.

- Quentin, Intermezzo

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

One of the Most Fun Weekends Ever!

Camp Jewell was really fun! I liked the scavenger hunt, the big slide, the s'mores at the campfire, and the new song "Share the Joy." I met some new kids and played with them and we slept in bunk beds and I was on the top. The canoeing was really fun and there was this huge pig named Stanley that weighed 600 pounds. I was on the green team and it was one of the most fun weekends ever. I wish I could have stayed longer and I will be there next year!

-Elliot, Prelude

Camp Jewell was a YPC boys only getaway, and it was definitely an amazing experience. The camp has a large amount of activities, from canoeing to wiffleball to rockwall climbing and even their own petting zoo! I got to know a lot more people, and even strengthen bonds i've already made. The younger and older divisions got along very well, sharing laughs and games and conversations together. A highlight(s) of the trip is definitely the talent show, where a few friends from the Young Men division and I got together and rocked out in a small band, getting everyone on their feet and partying like no tomorrow!!! Camp Jewell '10!!!!!

- Nicholas, Young Men

I loved Camp Jewell a lot, and it was really fun! The rock wall was hard, but I still did it. I made a good friend at Camp Jewell named Zaccariah, and we are both in Prelude together. The older boys were really nice and cheered me up when I was feeling sad about coming in last in the scavenger hunt. Camp Jewell is great!

- Sam, Prelude

Going to the retreat was like going on a roller coaster - it had its ups and downs, but in the end it was completely worth it! My favorite part was the talent show. Everyone got in, and they all did a great job whether it was comedy or drama.

- James, Intermezzo

I loved the experience of being at Camp Jewell. I think the best parts were the talent show and going down the big slide! I also loved bonding with my fellow choristers, and canoeing on the lake. I thought this was a nice trip because I got to know everyone a little more and I got to have lots of fun, too!

- Sam, Young Men

YPC Boys' Retreat Weekend!

Boys from all five divisions of YPC recently traveled to Connecticut for a weekend of singing, games and friendship. They left very early on Saturday morning for the retreat, and arrived to a beautiful fall day in New England. Camp Jewell is located on Triangle Lake, and some of the first sights the choristers saw were the giant slide, the brand new wiffle ball stadium, and the climbing wall. Needless to say, they were very excited to jump right in!

The choristers were divided into four teams with boys from every division on each team, and they competed in different tasks and challenges throughout the weekend and were able to win stars for their team's flag with each success. At the end of the weekend all the stars were counted and a victor emerged!

In addition to their challenges, the choristers were in rehearsals, theory and vocal technique classes throughout the weekend. They also enjoyed many of the outdoor activities that they don't get to do in the city: canoeing, archery, the climbing wall and giant slide, and the petting zoo, complete with Stanley the 600 pound pig! That evening the choristers had a campfire where they roasted marshmallows and made s'mores before retiring to their cabins for what was inevitably a short night's sleep.

The choristers had a great time, and many wanted to stay at Camp Jewell rather than return back to New York City the following day. We can't wait to go back next year!