[Making Music Magazine] New Commissioning Program “Just Songs” Amplifies Voices of Emerging Songwriters
Young People’s Chorus of New York City’s New Commissioning Program Just Songs Amplifies Voices of Emerging Songwriters
Inspiring Music from YPC Alumni Focuses on Social Issues and Aims to Help Young Choristers Make Sense of Today’s World Through Music
The world-renowned Young People’s Chorus of New York City (YPC) has announced a new commissioning program, Just Songs, showcasing original music created by YPC alumni, now emerging songwriters and solo vocalists, as they navigate the world facing unprecedented challenges. The program, which offers an incubation process, reflects YPC’s goal of continuing to provide choristers and alumni with resources and support as they establish their own successful careers. Just Songs (Unplugged) is a compilation of acoustic solo works, with lyrical themes centered around social issues, created by YPC alumni as an inspiration for the organization’s young choristers. This winter, the artists will work with YPC’s choral members, grades 3-10, to perform Just Songs (Amplified), a set of new choral arrangements of the original songs, at concerts currently being planned for 2021 and on streaming platforms. Composers and performers for Just Songs (Unplugged) are Blaize Adam, Nia Drummond, Caroline Kuhn, Jordan Reynoso, Nate Sabat, Monica Soyemi, and Nia Soyemi. The music can be accessed on the organization’s new virtual multi-media platform In The Key of Love, on ypc.org.
“The events of this past year have forced us to look in the mirror, individually and collectively, and ask ourselves where we are in history and what we can do better,” said Francisco J. Núñez, founder and artistic director of YPC. “This is an opportunity to rethink, reimagine, and rebuild our communities with the goal of creating a just world. These emerging artists, some of whom are first-time songwriters, are bursting with so much to say and are excited to use their talents as a measure for change. The journey has produced incredibly powerful music that deeply resonates with people. My hope is that Just Songs reflects what can be achieved when young adults mentor young people.”
Just Songs continues YPC’s longtime reputation for commissioning many of today’s most distinguished composers to write music for young voices. To date, YPC has commissioned more than 140 compositions from composers that include Pulitzer Prize, Oscar, and Guggenheim Award-winning recipients, as well as MacArthur Fellows.
Songs featured on Just Songs (Unplugged) include:
“Fearless Angel” by Nate Sabat
“Grown” by Jordan Reynoso
“A Matter of Time” by Nia Drummond
“Less Different Than We Believe” by Monica Soyemi
“We Are the Colors” by Nia Soyemi
“Love Everywhere” by Blaize Adam
“Light to be Found” by Caroline Kuhn
The music has been released following the recent launch of the organization’s multi-media platform, In the Key of Love, on ypc.org, giving visitors an immersive look into the world and talent of YPC and featuring performances by choristers and alumni, panel discussions, upcoming events, Q & A’s and more.
Internationally renowned for its innovative diversity model and artistic excellence, and celebrated for medal-winning performances all over the world, YPC has nurtured the talents of children from all walks of life since 1988. Today, the organization is one of the most highly acclaimed choruses in the world.
For more information and to hear tracks from the Just Songs (Unplugged) project, please visit www.ypc.org.
About 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 for its superb virtuosity, brilliant showmanship, and innovative model of diversity. Founded in 1988 by Artistic Director Francisco J. Núñez, a MacArthur Fellow and Musical America’s 2018 Educator of the Year, YPC’s mission and values are deeply rooted in providing children of all cultural and economic backgrounds with a unique program of music education and choral performance. YPC is committed to empowering our youth and providing pathways to success through the arts so that each child, no matter what race, gender, socioeconomic background, or religion can reach their full potential. Among YPC’s many awards is America’s highest honor for youth programs, a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, which was presented to members of YPC at the White House. YPC also earned the distinction of “Choir of the World” in July 2018 at the International Choral Kathaumixw (Powell River, British Columbia), marking the first time a North American chorus has ever won this title in the 34-year history of Kathaumixw.
Young People’s Chorus of New York City is a world-renowned youth chorus founded in 1988 on a mission of diversity, artistic excellence, and education by Artistic Director Francisco J. Núñez, a MacArthur Fellow and Musical America’s 2018 Educator of the Year. Under the leadership of Mr. Núñez, the program harnesses the power of music to fulfill the potential of children, heightening an awareness of the ability of children to rise to unforeseen levels of artistry. Almost 2,000 children from ages 8 to 18 participate annually in YPC through its after-school, in-school, and community programs. YPC is a recipient of the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, America’s highest honor for youth programs. For more information, visit ypc.org.
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