Young People's Chorus of NYC Raises $900,000 in One Evening

Classic Arts News   Young People's Chorus of NYC Raises $900,000 in One Evening
The Young People's Chorus of New York City raised nearly $1 million in a single evening last month. Francisco J. N‹ê±ez, the ensemble's founder and artistic director, announced today that the group's 10th annual benefit gala, held on October 22 in Isaac Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall and at the nearby New York Athletic Club, raised $900,000.

The bulk of that money is designated to support the choral literacy and performance programs of the Young People's Chorus. However, $100,000 is earmarked to meet a two-for-one challenge grant from the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust; the $300,000 total will go towards establishing an endowment for the YPC. (Income from the fund will go primarily toward scholarships for underprivileged children and commissioning new music for the choir.)

The sold-out Carnegie Hall concert, for which the YPC was joined by the New York Pops, was hosted by CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien and WNYC radio host John Schaefer. Among the many guest performers were country music luminary Rosanne Cash (singing a song by her father, Johnny), reggae star Maxi Priest, indie rock band Elizabeth & the Catapult (whose lead singer, Elizabeth Ziman, is a YPC alumna), Broadway stars Christian Hoff and Bobby Spencer (both of Jersey Boys), Hugh Panaro (Phantom of the Opera) and Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins), and the Stephen Petronio Dance Company. The concert closed with all 1,000 choir members performing "The Song I Sing", a new song written for the occasion by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, the creators of the Broadway hits Ragtime and Seussical.

A well-traveled ensemble that has won gold medals in several international choral competitions, the YPC maintains a core after-school program at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan and programs at seven satellite schools throughout New York City. The group is now particularly known for its commissioning program and concert series called "Transient Glory," which has premiered dozens of new works, most of them published and made available to other youth choruses throughout the U.S. and beyond.

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