Francisco J. Nuñez, Founder of The Young People’s Chorus, Excited to Share A Very Merry New York

by Miss YaYa Vargas

After nearly two years of distant and remote learning, composer, conductor, visionary, and the Artistic Director/Founder of the Young People’s Chorus of New York, Francisco J. Nuñez, is excited to get his students where they belong: on stage in front of a live audience, with A Very Merry New York.

As a leading figure in music education, Francisco is widely sought after not only as a guest conductor by professional orchestras, chamber ensembles, and as a master teacher and advisor for choral workshops, demonstrations, and festivals worldwide, but also as a keynote speaker. He sets the example as a leading authority on the role of music in achieving equality and diversity among children in today’s society, as well as providing children with a path to fulfilling their life’s potential.

Growing up in a close-knit Dominican household, first being born in the Dominican Republic, to his upbringing in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood, Francisco spent his time practicing the piano when not in school, and went on to graduate as a piano performance major from NYU and continues to touch lives since.

Francisco J. Nuñez, alongside students of The Young People’s Chorus

When he began The Young People’s Chorus in 1988 with just 9 local music students, it was a way to bring children from underserved neighborhoods together with children from more privileged circumstances– music being the common ground they can all relate to and connect with. It served as a positive escape from the crime and distractions happening in New York City at the time. Now, with well over 2000 New York resident students, from the ages of 8 to 18, the chorus is renowned worldwide for its diversity and artistic excellence. 

Having grown into a familial village, getting top of the line musical training, Francisco and his team of conductor’s and leaders also recognized a need for its students to receive tutoring and college prep training. This inspired the launch of YPC’s College Bound program for its after-school choristers, providing workshops, tutoring in various subjects, and other support to enable all YPC graduates to go on to higher education.

To advance and expand the instructional methods that have been so successful with YPC choristers, Mr. Núñez created a conducting fellowship program, which provides young conductors with the unique opportunity to work hands on with all YPC choral divisions under the mentorship of himself and YPC’s Associate Artistic Director Elizabeth Núñez.

The Young People’s Chorus

It is the mission of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City to provide children of all cultural and economic backgrounds with a unique program of music education and choral performance that seeks to fulfill each child’s potential, while creating a model of artistic excellence and diversity that enriches the community.

Thankfully classes over Zoom helped to keep the children’s spirits up during the pandemic. However, the stage was sorely missed, keeping them away, up until August 2021 when they performed in Lincoln Center, when live performances began to trickle back in. Their most recent being the world famous Rockefeller Center tree lighting, singing alongside Grammy winning singer-songwriter, Jose Feliciano.

Renown Opera Singer, Lester Lynch

 

The Young Peoples Chorus’ anticipated 2021 Christmas concert takes place December 11th, at the world famous United Palace in Washington Heights, New York. The choristers will be joined by world traveling verdi baritone opera singer, Lester Lynch. The show boasts eye-catching light effects as well as LED screen images, and will be recorded in front of a live audience, for all to enjoy for years to come via YPC’s website and Youtube page.

Mr. Nuñez is excited to bring A Very Merry New York to his childhood stomping grounds, not only because its where he grew up, but also because it is where the legacy of The Young People’s Chorus began. He humbly states, “I don’t feel I’m giving back to the community, because the community has really given so much to us. It feels good to be able to share this with everyone, bringing that Holiday spirit we need after an interesting couple of years’.

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