Youthful Excellence: Francisco J. Núñez and the Young People’s Chorus of New York City® Will Engage Twin Cities on Many Levels

You may have seen them on national television—“From the Top at Carnegie Hall,” NBC’s Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting, and “Good Morning America” for starters. And their founder and conductor, MacArthur “genius” Fellow Francisco J. Núñez, was recently profiled on Fox & Friends and interviewed on a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Art Works Media podcast. But on November 22 you can enjoy the energy and excitement, movement and musicality of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City® (YPC) here in the Twin Cities, sponsored by Travelers.

YPC is a multicultural youth chorus renowned for its superb sound and electrifying performances. Frequent performers at Carnegie Hall, YPC has performed with such guest artists as Joshua Bell, American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, and NEA Jazz Master Delfeayo Marsalis. From classical to gospel, pop and world music, they perform with an energy that leaps from the stage. VocalEssence Presents: Young People’s Chorus of New York City® will be a rich program that includes some local influences—pieces by Stephen Paulus, Dominick Argento, and an arrangement by Timothy C. Takach, a VocalEssence board member—along with traditional songs, spirituals and popular selections. You can hear YPC performing “Rikitikitavi” and check out videos of YPC performing “Vere Languores Nostros” and “Take This Hammer.”

The concert is on Saturday, November 22 at 8 pm, Roseville Lutheran Church, with a Pre-Concert Conversation at 7 pm with conductor Francisco J. Núñez. Tickets are on sale now.

Education and engagement

When Francisco and the YPC arrive in the Twin Cities on November 20, they will hop right on a bus to work with select Saint Paul high schools. Over 200 students from three schools—Central High School, Como Park Senior High School, and Johnson Senior High School—will participate. They will share music, as the choirs sing for each other with Francisco at the helm, demonstrating new ways to interpret the music and teaching new music to the singers. VocalEssence is grateful for Travelers’ sponsorship of this activity, as well as the tickets they have provided for the YPC concert for participating students and their families.

YPC and Francisco will also work with choirs at Roseville High School, whose families will provide lodging for the YPC singers. “I had the opportunity to sing under Francisco Núñez at the 2007 National ACDA Multicultural Honor Choir, and I know what a gifted and passionate conductor he is,” said Roseville High School choir director Jami Lercher. “I am thrilled to bring his expertise and enthusiasm to our students at Roseville!”

YPC’s adventures will continue through Sunday, November 23, with other organizations in the Twin Cities, including a recording for “Performance Today” at Minnesota Public Radio, an American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota Fall Conference presentation, and a performance at the 10:30 am worship service at Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis. Thank you to Francisco, YPC and Travelers for bringing this energetic music education and engagement to the Twin Cities.