Biography

The Young People’s Chorus of New York City® (YPC) is a multicultural youth chorus internationally renowned not only for its superb virtuosity and brilliant showmanship, but as a model for an inclusive society that is being replicated globally. Founded in 1988 by Artistic Director Francisco J. Núñez a MacArthur Fellow and Musical America’s 2018 Educator of the Year, this groundbreaking program harnesses the power of music to fulfill the potential of every child and has established the youth chorus as a significant and often untapped instrument for making music.

Under the leadership of Mr. Núñez and YPC Associate Artistic Director Elizabeth Núñez, over 1,600 children from ages 8 to 18 participate annually in YPC. More than 400 choristers sing in its core after-school program, and over 1,100 children participate through YPC’s School Choruses program in 18 New York City public schools, in addition to more than 100 children in YPC’s two thriving after-school community choruses in Manhattan’s Washington Heights and at Goddard Riverside Community Center.

The repertoire for YPC ranges from renaissance and classical traditions through gospel, folk, pop, contemporary, and world music. In addition, YPC has extended and invigorated the repertoire for young voices by commissioning over 100 pieces of new music from many of today’s most distinguished composers, primarily through its Transient Glory, Radio Radiance, and Vocal Resolution series. Through its Transmusica series, YPC collaborates with choruses from as far as Indonesia, Australia, Japan, and Israel in cross-cultural performances that build understanding and bridges across other societies and cultures of the world.

YPC’s commitment to artistic excellence and diversity inspires frequent invitations for collaborations and performances from a global array of festivals, cultural institutions, and cities on four continents. Among them are Carnegie Hall, the Tokyo Philharmonic, Bang on a Can, Adolf Fredrik Festival in Stockholm, Sweden; Polyfollia in Normandy, France; Basel, Switzerland; Hong Kong; Shanghai; Songbridge in Finland, and over 30 Japanese cities. 

YPC is frequently seen on national television, including an Emmy Award-winning feature on PBS-TV’s “From the Top at Carnegie Hall,” ABC-TV’s Good Morning America, CNN’s New Day, and NBC-TV’s Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting and The Tonight Show, among many others. YPC’s performance for Pope Francis at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum on his first trip to America was streamed to more than a billion people around the world.

YPC was named New York’s first radio choir by WNYC, New York Public Radio, the first children’s chorus to open Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, and has won over a dozen gold medals in international choral competitions, including the only U.S. chorus to win first place in the 54-year history of the European Broadcasting Union’s Euroradio choral competition. Among its many other awards and honors are the 2017 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, a Chorus America Education Outreach Award and two Chorus America/ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming. In 2011 YPC was presented with America’s highest honor for youth programs—a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award.

November 2017

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