Young People’s Chorus of New York City

The New York Philharmonic

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The Young People’s Chorus of New York City (YPC) is a multicultural youth chorus renowned for its virtuosity and showmanship, and as a model for an inclusive society that is being replicated globally. Founded in 1988 by artistic director Francisco J. Núñez, a MacArthur Fellow and Musical America’s 2018 Educator of the Year, the program harnesses the power of music to fulfill the potential of every child, and has established the youth chorus as a significant and often untapped instrument for making music.

Almost 2,000 children, ages 8 to 18, participate annually through YPC’s core after-school program, a School Choruses program in New York City schools, and as part of after-school community choruses in Manhattan’s Washington Heights and at Goddard Riverside Community Center.

YPC performs repertoire ranging from Renaissance and classical to gospel, folk, pop, contemporary, and world music, and has commissioned more than 100 works for young voices from today’s most distinguished composers. The chorus’s commitment to artistic excellence and diversity inspires collaborations with and performances at festivals and cultural institutions worldwide. YPC is frequently seen on national television — including appearances on ABC’s Good Morning America, NBC’s Today, CNN’s New Day, Christmas in Rockefeller Center, and NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon — and was featured in the Emmy Award–winning feature From the Top at Carnegie Hall on PBS. YPC’s performance at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum for Pope Francis’s first trip to America was streamed by more than one billion people worldwide.

YPC has more than a dozen first-place wins in international choral competitions. Among its many honors are a Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, a Chorus America Education Outreach Award, and two Chorus America / ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming. In 2011 YPC received a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, America’s highest honor for youth programs.


Francisco J. Núñez, a MacArthur Fellow and Musical America’s 2018 Educator of the Year, is a composer, conductor, visionary, leading figure in music education, and the artistic director / founder of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City (YPC), renowned worldwide for its diversity and artistic excellence. Mr. Núñez also leads the University Glee Club of New York City, and is sought after as a guest conductor by professional orchestras and as a master teacher of choirs. He is a leading authority on music’s role in helping to achieve equality and diversity among children in today’s society, and through his Núñez Initiative for Social Change, is working to expand the YPC model to choruses beyond New York City. Mr. Núñez composes and arranges music for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments, and has received an ASCAP Victor Herbert Award. He has also received New York Choral Society’s Choral Excellence Award, a Visionary Award from Bang on a Can, and NYU Steinhardt’s Distinguished Alumnus Achievement Award. He holds honorary Doctor of Music degrees from Ithaca College and Gettysburg College.

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