YPC brought its 30th Anniversary year to a celebratory close with its first annual Alumni Homecoming, the perfect opportunity for YPC singers from past years to come together, reminisce, and of course, sing. The series of rehearsals and a holiday reception culminated in a YPC Alumni Reunion Concert this past weekend.
These events took place at YPC’s beautiful new home, located across from Lincoln Center, a milepost in how far YPC has come over the past 30 years. Since we have been here only for the past three years, many YPC alumni and their families were seeing the new offices, rehearsal spaces, studios, and tech suite for the first time, a sharp contrast to the many years of traveling throughout Manhattan to ever-changing rehearsal spaces.
Alumni holiday party
Alumni holiday party with Founder/Artistic Director Francisco Núñez and Associate Conductor Sophia Papoulis
Last Saturday, we were excited to welcome an audience of family, friends, and current choristers to hear the alumni perform in this moving alumni reunion. The program, conducted by YPC Founder/Artistic Director Francisco J. Núñez and Associate Artistic Director Elizabeth Núñez, included beloved songs collectively chosen by the singers prior to the concert.
“I am here because of you, I’m here because of them. These are my teachers, and we’re in this home, and we’re giving back to society as much as we can. Thank you for your continued support.” – Francisco J. Núñez
Francisco Núñez and the YPC alumni chorus
Between performances, alumni speakers reflected on their time in YPC and on the remarkable things they had accomplished during their tenure and beyond.
“The most enduring thing for me, what’s kept me coming back here, is that I grew up with these people. We grew up together, we raised each other up, and I’m so happy and excited and proud to have the opportunity to sing with them again today. Here’s to another 30 years!” – Hannah Chinn, class of 2011
Alumni Gregory Lipson and Hannah Chinn speak between songs
“I was a very shy and reserved kid, so it was actually through YPC that expressing myself on stage, singing with people I care about, I came out of my shell and became the person who is standing here in front of you today.” – Ada Huang, class of 2013
Elizabeth Núñez conducts the alumni chorus
A highlight of the program was a brand-new piece written just for the concert: the world premiere of “if we can sing,” by YPC Alumnus Will Cabaniss, class of 2013. The song’s lyrics – “If we can sing, I know no darkness will seem too close. If we can heal ourselves and believe in ourselves, who knows what kind of love we could grow” – were reflected in the joyful faces of the singers.
The concert ended with a beautiful rendition of YPC’s anthem, “Give Us Hope,” which turns 20 this year. In a sweet twist on the tradition of inviting alumni to sing with current choristers, the current YPC chorus members in the audience were invited to join the alumni on stage, bringing the concert to a touching close.
Photos by Nancy Bloom, Peixuan Ouyang and Marisel Rodriguez