At the invitation of the International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM), 43 members of the Young People's Chorus of New York City, under its artistic director/founder Francisco J. Núñez, will represent the North American continent at the World Choral Summit in Beijing from July 15 to 18. YPC is one of six international choirs from each of six of the seven continents to take part in this global summit.
The summit, themed Voices in Harmony, brings together international choral leaders to explore with Chinese conductors The Commonality of the choral art as found in countries throughout the world. The other choruses representing their respective continents are Vokalna Akademija Ljubljana from Slovenia (Europe), Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (Africa), Gondwana Voices (Asia South Pacific), Asia Pacific Youth Choir (Asia Pacific), and Schola Cantorum de Venezuela (South/Central America).
All six invited choirs will participate in the opening ceremony of the choral summit on Sunday, July 15, which will be broadcast on China Central Television and will emphasize "the power of choral music to encourage people to live in harmony and peace."
In addition to the opening ceremony, each chorus will give a concert of music indigenous to each of its own continent's choral traditions, as well as workshop/demonstrations as part of China's eagerness to more fully develop the choral education in China with the assistance of IFCM.
Before heading for Beijing, YPC's first stop in China will be the city of Guangzhou, where the YPC choristers will give two concerts at the Guangzhou Opera House: a joint concert with Gondwana Voices and a second concert devoted entirely to the Young People's Chorus of New York City conducted by Mr. Núñez.
"The educational impact on these YPC global travelers is boundless," said Mr. Núñez, a 2011 MacArthur Fellow. "For many of the YPC choristers, a tour is their first opportunity to travel not only outside of the U.S., but often beyond New York City and even their own neighborhoods. These trips," he added, "change a child's perspective of his or her place in the world, giving these young people first-hand knowledge of issues affecting the international community, subjects they often write about in their college applications. Their travels also provide them with the kind of information they can call upon to knowledgeably participate in the global conversation as they become adults."
Because of its diversity and high level of musicianship, YPC has become among today's most celebrated and influential children's choruses and a model for other choirs worldwide.
"Our accomplishments have led other cities and countries to invite us to demonstrate how to do what we do," explained Mr. Núñez "This past season alone, YPC has been invited to the Dominican Republic, Stockholm, Sweden, as well as to the World Choral Summit in Beijing."
The Young People's Chorus of New York City was founded in 1988 by Francisco J. Núñez to provide children of all cultural and economic backgrounds with a unique program of music education and choral performance, while advancing a model of artistic excellence and humanity that enriches the community. YPC currently reaches more than 1200 children annually through its core after-school program, its Satellite program in nine New York City public schools, and national affiliates in Erie, Pennsylvania, and Tenafly, New Jersey. The resident chorus at Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, YPC performs on four continents. YPC was recently recognized with the nation's highest honor for youth programs, a 2011 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award by First Lady Michelle Obama.