The High Notes, May 2021: YPC partners with The Metropolitan Museum, Composer Ellen Reid, Houston Chamber Choir and more
YPC began the month with an announcement that world-renowned recording artist Josh Groban would be joining the lineup of award-winning artists slated to participate in YPC’s first virtual benefit gala. Generously sponsored by Mastercard and Palmer’s Skin and Hair Care, the May 10 gala raised over $1 million to support YPC’s year-round programs that benefit 2,000 children in New York City and beyond. In addition to its New York audience, the event received worldwide attention including guests from Hong Kong, Russia, Canada, Spain, Italy, Germany, Australia and more. Highlights of the night included Grammy, Tony and Emmy Award-nominated singer, songwriter and actor Josh Groban singing “The Impossible Dream” with YPC choristers; famed pianist Lang Lang speaking to the importance of YPC’s programs; the debut of singer/songwriter Nate Sabat’s “Fearless Angel” video which was created through YPC’s Just Songs commissioning program; a preview of YPC’s upcoming The Canon Project; fun skits including Emmy Award-winning actor, writer and director Michael Imperioli, Broadway and film actor and singer Norm Lewis and Broadway actress, singer and YPC alum Aneesa Folds; and a vast range of new choral arrangements sung by over 600 YPC choristers.
Earlier in the month, on May 3, YPC was featured in an episode of the Houston Chamber Choir’s “Music Mondays.” Streamed via YouTube, the episode titled So Much On My Soul, featured a powerful interview with Francisco Núñez, YPC Founder and Artistic Director, speaking to the emotions felt by youth during these uncertain times and a standout performance by members of YPC.
In mid-May YPC worked with Stephen Petronio Company to present a performance alongside Monstah Black in the debut of the company’s dance work New Prayer For Now. The work was featured in the company’s five-day virtual program that began May 13. Each dance featured newly created or reimagined dance works that expressed collective longing for human connection and unique ways a body in motion can transcend the current moment.
On May 25, Met Live Arts held the digital premier of Odyssey: A Youth Opera, in which YPC performed live in 2017. Composed by Ben Moore, conducted by Francisco and performed by members of YPC alongside Brian Vum, Kelley Rourke, Eric Sean Fogel, and Meroë Khalia Adeeb, the premier featured visuals drawn from The Met’s stellar collection of ancient Greek art and artifacts.
Finally, Ellen Reid’s ongoing public art project SOUNDWALK was customized for Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Virginia and available for visitors throughout the month. The GPS-enabled work of free public art uses music to illuminate the natural environment and features stellar arraignments from YPC. The project has now made its way to the West Coast.