Young People’s Chorus of New York City


Young People’s Chorus of New York City

Young People's Chorus
1995 Broadway
Suite 305
New York, NY 10023
Phone: 212.289.7779
Fax: 212.289.6918

Focus: Music

Annual Number Participating: 1200

Ages: Elementary, Middle School, High School

Annual Budget: $1,821,500.00

Partners: American Public Media, Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York City Public Schools

Funders: Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, National Endowment for the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs

They sang aboard a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, appeared on Good Morning America, conducted a sold-out 14-city tour of Japan, recorded a Coca-Cola commercial, competed at an international music festival in Wales, performed with the American Ballet Theater at the Metropolitan Opera House, and sang along with Sesame Street characters on TV. And, those are just a few of the highlights of the past year for the Young People’s Chorus of New York City (YPC).

Founded in 1988 by composer and conductor Francisco J. Núñez, YPC has blossomed into one of the most highly acclaimed youth choirs in the world. YPC provides children and youth from all ethnic, religious, and economic backgrounds with a program of music education and choral performance and a social model of artistic excellence and inclusiveness that is being adopted by other cities and underdeveloped countries. More than 1,100 children and teens from all five boroughs of New York City participate annually through its core after-school program and in-school Satellite program in nine city schools. The chorus has won top prizes in choral competitions around the globe, charming audiences as well as judges with their high level of artistry, beautifully blended harmonies, and joyful performances.

Choristers work on a wide-ranging repertoire. They sing in many languages and also master pieces commissioned from contemporary composers specifically for young voices.

Núñez discovered his own love for music as a young boy when his mother, who emigrated from the Dominican Republic, scraped together the funds to buy him a piano from the Salvation Army. He has made a conscious commitment to diversity in the YPC, believing that through the universal language of music, people of different backgrounds can come to know, respect, and be inspired by one another.

The charismatic conductor sets high standards for his young singers. But when choristers put in the effort and hit the mark, they learn that “doing something positive earns positive rewards,” Núñez says. That was touchingly illustrated at the end of a concert with the New York Pops. The audience had risen to their feet, applauding enthusiastically. As a shy chorister left the stage, Núñez heard her whisper, “Listen, they’re clapping for me. That’s for me!”