2016 Festival Artists

Young People's Chorus of New York City

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 by Artistic Director Francisco J. Núñez, a MacArthur "genius" Fellow in 1988, 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.

Over 1,500 children from ages 7 to 18 participate annually in YPC. Four hundred choristers sing in its core after-school program, and under the direction of Associate Conductor Elizabeth Núñez, 1000 children participate through YPC’s satellite program in New York City schools, in addition to more than 120 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, 80 alone through its Transient Glory and Radio Radiance series. Through its Transmusica series, YPC collaborates with choruses from as far as Indonesia, Australia, and Israel in cross-cultural performances that build understanding and bridges among 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, Festival del Sole, the San Francisco Symphony, the Tokyo Philharmonic, Bang on a Can, Adolf Fredrik Festival in Stockholm, Sweden; Polyfollia in Normandy, France; and Hong Kong, Shanghai, and over 30 Japanese cities. Most recently, the chorus was honored to sing for Pope Francis at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum on his first papal visit to the U.S.

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 was named New York’s first radio choir by WNYC, New York Public Radio and has won over a dozen gold medals in international choral competitions. In 2015 alone, YPC won five gold medals in the Golden Gate International Choral Competition and became the only U.S. chorus to win first place in the 54-year history of the European Broadcasting Union’s Let the Peoples Sing international choral competition in Munich, Germany. Among its many other awards and honors are 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—by First Lady Michelle Obama.