This is no ordinary gallery show. AloneTogether is a journey into the subconscious minds of children and teens during a time of global turmoil and transformation. It is an immersive, transcendent musical experience that excavates the essence of humanity, the needs, fears and feelings that connect us all, even – and even more so – when we cannot be together. From the moment you enter The CIA at Copia, you will be immersed in a mixed media, interactive exhibit unlike any other, examining life in lockdown in New York City through the eyes of our children.
Through new works by 15 of the world’s leading composers, emerging songwriters and choreographers, you will witness spoken word, poetry, sculpture, video art, music, film, and live performance and hear hundreds of young artists aged 8-18 process their biggest, most powerful emotions. You will feel their sorrow, their pain, their fear, their joy, their loneliness, their love and their hope reflected in their work. You will see yourself in their stories, in the music and in their faces. And when you depart, you too, will be a different person.
Novack Concert for Kids
YPC was proud to perform for Boys and Girls Club of Napa Valley and many educators from across the region. Choristers shared a diverse program of music and dance—from Broadway’s West Side Story to African American Spirituals and the beautiful Jiangsu Folk song, Mo Li Hua. The audience and performers engaged in a lively post-concert Q & A session to cap the evening.
The CIA at Copia
Our sold-out main stage concert featured a world premiere of Polaris written by Nia Imani Franklin, and a special new arrangement of West Side Story with special guests—soloists Mario Chang and Mikayla Sager. YPC friend and collaborator Lester Lynch joined choristers to sing two numbers, including an electrifying version of the Battle Hymn of the Republic.
Arts for All Gala
Nickel & Nickel with Trisha Yearwood
Our final concert performance, held at the Nickel and Nickel Winery, saw our YPC artists premiere a special West Coast Medley to the delight of Napa patrons. The rousing arrangement was followed by Grammy award-winning country music star Trisha Yearwood, making for one incredibly memorable night.
Samuel Adler is an acclaimed conductor, author, and composers of over 400 orchestral, chamber, choral, vocal, piano, and organ. Among them are three choral works commissioned from him and premiered by the Young People’s Chorus of New York City. “In Time of Great Distress” is Mr. Adler’s fourth commission from YPC. Mr. Adler is a professor emeritus of the Eastman College of Music and was a longtime faculty member of The Juilliard School, where he was presented with its William Schuman Scholar’s Chair. This past December the Metropolitan Museum of Arts invited YPC to sing the New York premiere of Mr. Adler’s Flames of Freedom in a special MetLiveArts holiday performance.
Derek Bermel is a composer, conductor, and the artistic director of the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. As a composer Mr. Bermel is well known for blending many facets of his musical vocabulary into compositions, which can range from classical and jazz to world music and hip-hop. “Cabin Fever" is Mr. Bermel’s third commission from YPC. His first commission was “A Child’s War,” a moving three-movement work, written in collaboration with his father Albert Bermel, of his father’s childhood memories during the World War II bombings of London. YPC’s second commission from Mr. Bermel was “YPChant,” a fun rap that is a chorister favorite.
Thomas Cabaniss is a composer of dance, theater, film, and concert works and has been commissioned by the Young People’s Chorus of New York City to compose several choral works for its various music series. Over the years, these compositions have been premiered by YPC choristers who have often included his sons Will and Daniel, both YPC alumni. Mr. Cabaniss is a faculty member of The Juilliard School and a leader of Weill Music Institute arts education projects at Carnegie Hall, where he is a founder of the Lullaby Project. He has been recognized with an Obie Award, an ASCAP Foundation Award, and wrote the score for “The Lunch Date," an Oscar-winning short film.
Paquito D’Rivera, the recipient of 14 Grammy Awards, is celebrated not only for his dedication and contributions to jazz, bebop, and Latin music through his acclaimed Paquito D’Rivera Quintet, Chamber Jazz, and Big Band ensembles. He is also a featured clarinet/saxophone soloist with major orchestras worldwide, and drawing from his vast musical interests and global travels, he is a prolific composer of classical music. Mr. D’Rivera has previously written two choral works for YPC, commissioned from him for its Transient Glory series: “Tembandumba” and “Un Minuto.” Among his many honors, Mr. D’Rivera is a Guggenheim Fellow in Music Composition, has received an NEA Jazz Masters Award, as well as a National Medal of the Arts and a Living Jazz Legend Award at the Kennedy Center.
Aneesa Folds has honed her incredible talents as a former member of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City. After recently making her Broadway debut as a “crew” member in Freestyle Love Supreme, with what The New York Times described as “A singing voices that scales the heights,” Francisco Núñez invited her to write a canon for this “Canon Fever” collection. For Ms. Folds, “That's Power to the People” is her first YPC commission.
Gordon Getty, YPC’s artist-in-residence and its 2020 Legacy Honoree, has made a lifetime of contributions to the classical music world—as a composer, philanthropist and champion. As a composer, Getty has added more than 30 works to the canon, performed by leading artists and ensembles in some of the world’s most prestigious venues from Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York to Tchaikovsky Concert Hall and the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. YPC recently sang several movements from “Young America,” Mr. Getty’s set of six songs for chorus and orchestra at Lincoln Center. This canon, a brand-new arrangement of a previous work, is Mr. Getty’s first commission from YPC.
Michael Gordon is a co-founder/artistic director – with Julia Wolfe and David Lang – of Bang on a Can and YPC’s composer-in-residence for three years. He has composed a wide array of music commissioned from him by the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, beginning with his Transient Glory classic “Every Stop on the F Train.” These compositions are just a fraction of his strikingly diverse body of work, ranging from large-scale pieces for high-energy ensembles and major orchestral commissions to works conceived specifically for the recording studio that he has composed over the past three decades. Mr. Gordon has been honored by the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Yuka C. Honda is a musician/producer/composer/performer. She believes that residing in different parts of the world throughout her lifetime from Japan and Germany to Denmark and the USA, had a great influence on her music and led to the integration of elements that initially seem foreign. YPC commissioned her for the first time last season for its Vocal Currents commissioning series. That work, “Every Time, Every Tide,” drew its inspiration from myths in the Kojiki, Japan’s oldest existing chronicle, in which the song invokes the spirts to purify our minds.
Michael Harrison, a composer/pianist, is one of few musicians with equal training and immersion in both Western classical and Indian classical music. His music forges a new approach to composition through tunings and structures that extend the ancient concept of just intonation, a form of pure tuning constructed from musical intervals of perfect mathematical proportions. Mr. Harrison’s first commission from YPC was Hijaz, which he wrote to invoke a sense of pilgrimage to a sacred place within us. YPC was accompanied in the piece by cello, piano, tabla, and percussion.
Ted Hearne, a composer, singer, bandleader recording artist, and Pulitzer Prize nominee, draws on a wide breadth of influences ranging across music's full terrain, to create intense, personal and multi-dimensional works. He has been widely praised for creating impactful, socially engaged music from any genre and collaborates with many of the most visionary conductors, filmmakers, visual artists, poets, and directors of our time. Mr. Hearne is a member of the composition faculty at the University of Southern California, and this is his first commission from YPC.
David Lang, a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, is well known for a fierce intelligence and clarity of vision that inform his music. One of today’s most performed composers, his catalogue is extensive, and his opera, orchestra, chamber and solo works have been described variously as ominous, ethereal, urgent, hypnotic, unsettling and very emotionally direct. Mr. Lang is a co-founder/artistic director—with Julia Wolfe and Michael Gordon--of New York's legendary music collective Bang on a Can. This is Mr. Lang’s first commission from YPC.
Exhibit Curator, Composer, Sculptor, Filmmaker & Creative Director
Alone Together was concepted, curated and brought to life through the vision of Francisco J. Núñez, the artistic director/founder of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City. From the birth of the idea through its final, breathtaking execution, he has lead the creative team, working hands-on with the children, the composers, the filmmakers, and all the artists involved —as well as as a sculptor, producer, composer and curator of the event itself —to bring this unique concept to its fullest expression.
A MacArthur Fellow and Musical America’s 2018 Educator of the Year, Mr. Nunez is also a visionary, leading figure in music education, composer and conductor, creating countless compositions and arrangements in all musical formats and styles for choirs, orchestras, and solo instruments. Among his many awards are an ASCAP Victor Herbert Award, The ASCAP Foundation’s Life in Music Award, and honorary Doctor of Music degrees from both Ithaca College and Gettysburg College.
Composer & Conductor
Elizabeth Núñez is the associate artistic director of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, and oversees YPC’s flourishing School Choruses program in 20 New York City schools. She conducts YPC singers in the world’s most prestigious venues, on national television, and prepared them for their Grammy-nominated world premiere performances in Julia Wolfe’s Fire in My Mouth with the New York Philharmonic. The founding artistic director of SoHarmoniums, an intergenerational women’s community chorus, Elizabeth is sought after throughout the country as a choral clinician and conductor and is the recipient of the Lee University School of Music’s Distinguished Alumnus Award for her commitment to “changing the lives of America’s youth.”
Composer & Sound Engineer
Jim Papoulis is a composer, well known for invigorating the choral music repertoire and for exploring new modes of musical communication by connecting classical and traditional forms with contemporary sounds, world rhythms, R&B, and voices. He composed the YPC anthem, “Give Us Hope,” and since then, has written countless compositions for YPC, some earning them top prizes in international choral competitions. He has worked with everyone from the Moscow Philharmonic to Aretha Franklin and Snoop Dogg; and as the founder of the Foundation for Small Voices, he conducts songwriting workshops with choirs in every corner of the world and from all walks of life.
Paola Prestini was named by NPR as one of the “Top 100 composers in the world under 40.” As co-founder/artistic director of National Sawdust, she collaborates with poets, filmmakers, and scientists in large-scale multimedia works that chart her interest in extra-musical themes, ranging from the cosmos to the environment. Among them was “Epiphany,” a multidisciplinary, immersive performance experience, premiered in BAM’s Next Wave Festival, featuring the Young People’s Chorus of New York City. YPC later premiered “The Glass Box,” commissioned from her for its Vocal Resolutions series of commissions. Committed to the next generation, Ms. Prestini started the Hildegard Competition for emerging female, trans, and non-binary composers and the Blueprint Fellowship for emerging composers with The Juilliard School.
I am a semi-nomadic film producer based in New York City and I learned everything I know about filmmaking from my mentor and creative partner Brandon Li, and was formatively impacted by the simple, yet radical fieldwork of Yann Arthus-Bertrand. I am also a TEDx speaker, advocate, and entrepreneur, and my documentary film work has been featured on Vimeo Staff Picks, BBC, National Geographic, Smithsonian, Sony Alpha Universe, and many others. My work is a combination of my sincere passion for witnessing other people’s stories, my theatrical training at Ecole Lecoq (tell a story without words), Li’s innovative run-and-gun method, and the patience and stillness of Arthus-Bertrand’s interviews as a means of building a documentary narrative. I specialize in cinematically producing difficult-to-access human stories.
Recent accomplishments include promotional documentaries for the Mather Hospital in Port Jefferson, New York (December 2020), and Kehilat Synagogue in Kew Gardens Queens (October/November 2020); and a TEDx talk in 2019 at UCSD about my 2018 documentary “Like We Don’t Exist” about the Karenni refugees in Burma. In addition, I filmed and edited “Hedge-Hog Health: Support Unique Learners,” a short, call-to-action film about children with unique learning needs in September 2020, “Remember,” a collaboration with NOMO Films for the Alzheimer’s Association in March 2021, and “I Feel Powerful” produced for Girls With Impact about three young women who are starting their own companies and learning about entrepreneurship in August 2019, among other.
Megan Williams is an independent dance artist, choreographer, teacher, ballet master, and repetiteur, with a BFA from the Juilliard School, and an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Her choreography has been produced by 10 Hairy Legs, DanceNOW NYC at Joe’s Pub and Dance Theater Workshop, and by the Rivertown Artist’s Workshop, Barnspace, MIXT Co., Purchase College, Marymount Manhattan College, Connecticut College and Interlochen Arts Academy. She recently unveiled her first full evening work, ‘One Woman Show’ to critical acclaim, as a DanceNOW Commissioned Artist.
In addition to performing in her own work, she can be seen in two installments of Richard Daniels’ Dances for an IPhone and is currently dancing with Rebecca Stenn Company and in Netta Yurashalmy’s Paramodernitiesproject. After performing and touring internationally with the companies of Laura Glenn, Ohad Naharin, and Mark Haim, she joined the Mark Morris Dance Group in 1988, dancing for 10 years worldwide, and appearing in several films, including Falling Down Stairs (with YoYo Ma), The Hidden Soul of Harmony, The Hard Nut and Dido and Aeneas. Williams continues her affiliation with Morris as a guest performer (creating the role of Lady Capulet in Morris’ 2009 Romeo and Juliet: On Motifs of Shakespeare and dancing Bijoux at the 2014 Bessie Awards), guest rehearsal director and guest teacher at the Mark Morris Dance Center. She has staged Morris’ work on the Purchase Dance Company, Vassar Repertory Company, Fieldston Dance Company, the Boston Ballet, and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater and on students at the Juilliard School, George Mason University, Les Etes de la Danse (Paris), and Interlochen Arts Academy, and has been Morris’ assistant in a variety of settings including ballet, Broadway and television.
From 2000-2013 she was on the modern dance faculty of the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, SUNY and was featured in Dance Teacher Magazine in 2010 and 2014. She teaches Dance for Parkinson’s Disease in Rye, NY, and is on the renowned Dance for PD flagship teaching team. She teaches an ongoing Pro Level Ballet class at Gibney, company class for the Limón Dance Company and the Jessica Lange Dance Company and was recently a Guest Lecturer at Connecticut College. In fall 2018 she will be joining the faculties of Marymount Manhattan College and Hunter College in New York City. She has served on the board of directors of the Martha Hill Dance Fund since 2011 and is proud to have a producing credit on the documentary film Martha Hill: Making Dance Matter.
Tommy graduated from The Ohio State University with a BFA in dance performance in 2005. He has performed with Columbus Dance Theater contemporary ballet company, in the UK tour of Tap Fusion, as a guest artist with BalletMet, Parsons Dance, dre.dance, Nicholas Andre Dance, marInspired, and Kristin Sudekis Dance. In addition to company work Tommy has been featured in several movies, musicals and TV shows. Recent highlights are The Big Gay Musical movie, City Center Encores' production of "Where's Charley ?" and "Fiorello" and the premier of Rosie O'Donnell's return to prime time TV on Rosie Show. He has had the honor of working with Verdon/ Fosse Legacy LLC and a principal member of American Dance Machine for the 21st Century. Most recently he performed in the pre-Broadway run of the new musical Roman Holiday, Sophisticated Ladies directed by Andrè De Shields and appeared in an FX show Fosse/Verdon starring Michelle Williams and Sam Rockwell. As a teacher he has taught master class all over the world including Brazil, China, and Russia.In the United states he has been privileged to teach at Peridance, Broadway Dance Center, The Ohio State University, Adelphi University, Manhattanville College, Marymount Manhattan. He currently on staff as a adjunct professor for Marymount Manhattan.
Choreographer, dancer and teacher Jean Borges is an emerging talent in the New York City dance and choreography scene. Born, raised and educated in Brazil, Jean is steeped in the vibrant culture of his home country, while also embracing the influences of American and world cultures. He has dedicated himself to dance for over 15 years.Jean has a degree in Physical Education, with post graduate work in Dance Education, an ideal combination of credentials for the development of his own dance talents as well as choreographer and teacher. And he's a continuous learner always open to try different dance genders. Jean's range is vast - from Ballet to Hip Hop, Jazz to Contemporary. He has taught and choreographed Jazz and Hip Hop for over 9 years.
Sophia Papoulis is the Associate Conductor of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City and the principal conductor of YPC’s Prelude division. Since 2007, she has conducted and prepared young people from 8 to 18 in all YPC divisions for performances in the city’s most prestigious venues; on international tours; as well as in recording sessions and for radio and TV appearances. Sophia is also the associate director of YPC National, which supports and inspires youth choruses and choral conductors nationwide, as well as the creative director for the Foundation for Small Voices, a not-for-profit organization that brings choral, songwriting, and mentorship programs to children around the world. As a widely sought-after guest conductor and choral clinician, in addition, Sophia most recently brought her expertise to singers in Spain and the UK. Sophia is a magna cum laude graduate of the Ithaca College School of Music.
Caitlin Henning is an Assistant Conductor of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, conducting the Intermezzo chorus for children ages 10-15 and also manages YPC’s School Choruses program. Caitlin joined YPC in 2014 and previously worked with the Young People’s Chorus of Erie, where she was the director of education, assistant conductor of the training ensemble of beginning and intermediate singers, and YPC Erie’s four satellite choirs. She holds a BM in music education from Ithaca College and an MA in music education at Teachers College, Columbia University. In Ithaca, Caitlin worked with all five divisions of the Ithaca Children’s Choir under the mentorship of Dr. Janet Galván, completed studies for teaching middle school boys with autism, and taught early childhood music as a teacher at the Community School of Music and Arts. She has held a variety of leadership positions in music organizations, including the Northwest Chair of the Pennsylvania American Choral Directors Association.
Maria Peña is an Assistant Conductor of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, where she is the principal conductor of YPC’s Intermezzo division and oversees YPC’s two after-school community choruses: YPC at Washington Heights and YPC at Goddard Riverside. In addition, Maria is a conductor in YPC’s School Choruses program, which brings YPC’s unique music curriculum into New York City schools, and is the recipient of a 2019 PASEsetter Award for her commitment to children’s education. A native of Colombia, Maria came to YPC in 2012 from the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus Training Choir, where she conducted the ensemble. She completed three levels of the Choral Music Experience Institute with Doreen Rao and holds a Bachelor of Music summa cum laude in voice performance from the University of North Florida, where she was assistant conductor of the UNF Chorale, the UNF Chamber Singers, and co-conductor of the Women’s Chorale.
Emma Hathaway, an Assistant Conductor of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, is the principal conductor of YPC’s community chorus at Goddard Riverside, a conductor in YPC’s School Choruses program, and assists with YPC’s Concert Chorus and Young Men’s divisions. Each spring Emma coordinates YPC’s Vocal Resolutions Summit, and in addition, is a frequent violin accompanist in YPC performances both at home and on tour. Emma graduated summa cum laude from Yale University, where she received a BA in Music and certificate in Education Studies. Currently, she is completing a Master of Music Education with Kodály certification at the University of Hartford’s The Hartt School.
Sonny Willis is an Assistant Conductor of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, where he is the principal conductor of the Amani chorus and oversees YPC’s School Choruses program. Most recently, he led YPC’s inaugural Summer Day Camp program in August 2019. A native of North Carolina, Sonny joined the YPC conducting faculty in 2015 after 13 years as the choral conductor and drama specialist for Greensboro Day School, where he directed middle and high school choruses and founded a successful musical theater program with over 100 elementary school students. He is also the music and drama associate at Destination Broadway, an intensive New York-based musical theater workshop, where he works alongside Broadway performers, directors, and teachers to train students in voice and acting. He holds a BA in Music from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
500 choristers | 15 composers | 7 poets | 5 conductors | 3 choreographers | 2 filmmakers | One vision
Francisco J. Núñez
AloneTogether and YPC choristers continue to draw praise across the arts industry and notable news outlets, including its celebrated premiere at New York City’s leading experiential gallery High Line Nine earlier this year.
The New Yorker magazine called YPC choristers “prodigiously gifted vocalists.”
AM NY Weekender featured AloneTogether in their “6 Things To Do in New York.”
Time out magazine hailed AloneTogether as “Best Things to do in NYC this Week.”
AloneTogether is one of the many projects YPC presents. At YPC we serve over 2,000 young people every year from across New York City, and hundreds more through our YPC National program. Their love of singing and performing creates lifelong bonds of friendship.
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