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Program Notes: YPC


Commissioned by YPC National in Residence at the Music Academy

Looking for inspiration, I look to the sky knowing that my mind can see beyond, into my imagination. Clouds form so many stories, but sometimes they form because of mysterious and ominous reasons. Asperitas clouds form to look like ocean waves in the sky, creating a picture of an upside down world. When our worlds feel like they are upside down or sideways, we can always find beauty.


undulatus asperatus

stormy ocean waves


harshness, roughness

ripples through them

wave like structured clouds

eerie, mystery, distinctive, ominous

clouds are cherished by skywatchers

and cloud-spotters

when they form






Commissioned by YPC National in Residence at the Music Academy


Each wave is unique, coming from the limbo of the mother ocean. Born from the entire “all”, from one particular fold of the water, the singular movement is, suddenly, a miracle, a birth, a mystery. 

And if sometimes, you feel lost, follow the waves. They will lead you to your true self, and you will find your land, somewhere in your own spiritual sea… every wave has a story.  We are all a part of the ocean, individually and together.

Every wave

Has its own story

Every wave

Has its own glory

Each wave is breaking, each wave is taking

Each wave is making, each wave is waking

Suddenly a miracle, suddenly a birth

All a mystery

Like a million horses running from the depths

All finding their own path


They just keep breaking, they just keep taking

They just keep making, they just keep waking

Be aware, they might look the same

But they are all their own

They will lead you to your destiny

Find your sea, find your ocean

Follow the waves to your beauty

The evening, like a fable

The water, like a cradle

Calm, gentle

Tranquil, clear

Loud, ferocious

Telling a story, listen

Every wave



Young People’s Chorus of New York City (YPC), a multicultural youth chorus internationally renowned for its superb virtuosity and brilliant showmanship, was founded on a mission of diversity and artistic excellence in 1988 by Artistic Director Francisco J. Núñez, a MacArthur Fellow and Musical America’s 2018 Educator of the Year. Each year, YPC serves more than 2,000 children throughout New York City in its core after-school performance program, community choruses program, and its schools program, which brings YPC’s curriculum to children in 20 schools. Over the past three decades, YPC has created an awareness of the ability of children to rise to unforeseen artistic heights, and its acclaimed artistry inspires invitations for collaborations and performances from a global array of festivals, cultural institutions, and cities throughout the world. YPC was the first American chorus to win first prize in the history of the European Broadcasting Union’s Let the Peoples Sing choral competition, the first youth chorus to open Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, and the first North American chorus to be named “Choir of the World” in 2018 at the International Choral Kathaumixw. In 2019, YPC was invited to join Jaap van Zweden, the New York Philharmonic, and The Crossing in the unanimously acclaimed, world premiere performances of Julia Wolfe’s “Fire in My Mouth,” the live Decca Gold recording of which was nominated for two Grammy Awards. In addition to live performances, YPC is frequently seen on national television. Among its many TV appearances are CBS Sunday Morning, NBC’s Today Show, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the Rockefeller Center Treelighting, and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. In 2015, YPC’s performance for Pope Francis at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, and its January 2020 performances at the World Holocaust Forum at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, were each live streamed to more than a billion people worldwide. Among YPC’s many awards is America’s highest honor for youth programs, a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award. Through the years YPC has continued to extend and invigorate the repertoire for young voices by commissioning more than 100 pieces of music from many of today’s most distinguished composers. In 2017, YPC launched Vocal Resolutions: Shaping Perceptions through Music; an initiative that uses singing as a catalyst for cultural exploration and mutual understanding. Beyond the notes, YPC supports choristers academically and socially through College Bound programming, which offers classes ranging from financial literacy to college application coaching. In 2014, YPC Creative Director Elizabeth Núñez formed Women Inspiring Tomorrow (WIT) as a means of encouraging mentoring relationships between current high school choristers, YPC alumnae and accomplished women from various professions. In 2019, YPC launched YPC National with a mission to support and inspire youth choruses and choral conductors nationwide as a response to requests for assistance in replicating the YPC model. In 2019, YPC National held its inaugural Choral Lab, bringing choristers together from New York, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Kansas, Georgia and the Dominican Republic to sing at the highest level, learn and grow together. Conductors and teachers also gathered as part of the YPC National Studio—a professional development program, which includes clinics, master classes and artist residencies for choral conductors. This summer, YPC National’s Choral Lab and Studio programs will return, in residence at Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California.

In September 2009, the Young People’s Chorus @ Thurnauer (YPC@T) was established as an affiliate of the award-winning Young People’s Chorus of New York City. Francisco J. Núñez, recipient of a 2011 MacArthur “Genius” Award and winner of the 2019 ASCAP Award, is the Founding Director of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City which shares our mission of bringing together children of diverse backgrounds and abilities to create unique choral experiences and foster cultural understanding, friendship, and a love of music. YPC@T comprises the Prelude and Concert Choirs at the Thurnauer School. YPC@T has performed at numerous venues including the 92nd Street Y in New York, The Lillian Booth Actors Home, The High-Note Music Festival and the Music in the Parks choral competition. In June 2017, 2018, and 2019, YPC@T sang at the American Young Voices performance with 8,000 other choristers at the Prudential Center in Newark and won first place and overall best chorus in the Elementary and Middle School Divisions at Music in the Parks. In 2018 YPC@T made its debut performance at Carnegie Hall as part of the New York Chorus Festival and in December 2018, the YPC@T sang the national anthem at the New York Knicks game in Madison Square Garden. In 2019 members of the chorus participated in the YPC Summer Camp at Lee University in Tennessee. This April, YPC@T established a choral friendship with Westminster Choir College of Rider University through conducting workshops and performances.



The Sing! Program is a free, after-school choral initiative open to students in Santa Barbara County 1st through 6th grade. Performance opportunities include concerts and collaborations with the Music Academy family of artists, including a recent appearance with the London Symphony Orchestra.

The program’s objectives are to help children:

  1. Discover and develop their ability to imagine and express themselves through music.
  2. Gain confidence in using their voice to communicate ideas and emotions.
  3. Work together to create something larger than themselves.
  4. Learn about people and cultures from around the world through singing.
  5. Foster a lifelong love for listening to and making music.



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