Friday, August 27, 2010

Auditions are Coming! Auditions are Coming!

The YPC Erie Fall Term will be starting soon, so if you are interested in becoming a member, please contact the YPC Erie Office at 814-898-6789 to schedule your audition!

Auditions will be held weekdays from August 30th-September 10th. Please call to set up a specific time and location.

Feel free to visit our website at: for more information about the program!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Residential Campers perform for Erie Homes for Children and Adults

Residential Camper performance for EHCA

"The Guys"

The Day Campers practice their choreography for "She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain"...can I get a "Yee-Haw"???

Residential Campers practicing their moves for "Jai Ho"

The dancing shoes were on at the Residential Camp Dance on Thursday night!

The counselors who worked tirelessly to make camp a great experience!

Taking time out for the camera at the dance!

Break it down!!!

Everyone do the "Cupid Shuffle"!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Choir Camp 2010 has come to an end...

I think everyone would agree that this has been an exhausting week, but that all of our hard work paid off big time yesterday! After packing everything up in the dorms, the residential and day campers came together in McGarvey Commons to spend a little time getting ready to say goodbye. We ran a stop-start dress rehearsal to practice moving to and from each song, as the format of the program was slightly different from how the Gala was run.

In no time at all, parents began arriving and it was time to start the program. It was so nice for the campers to have the opportunity to perform for their parents and friends in the final camp performance. Showing everyone what we have been working so hard for all week was a wonderful thing. At the conclusion of the program, I saw more than one teary-eyed parent as the audience rose to their feet in a standing ovation. It must have been very powerful watching their children on stage and seeing how much can be accomplished when a very dedicated group of singers and staff come together to provide a performance of such high quality after only one week!

After the performance was over, the campers said goodbye to each other and eagerly met their parents (some perhaps less eagerly...many campers simply did not want the week to be over so soon!). Nearly 100 campers with their parents and baggage cleared out surprisingly fast, and in very little time, staff members were standing in the lobby thinking "Did this really happen? It's all over, just like that?"

Once again, we would like to say how proud we are of all of the hard work the campers did this week. All of the performances were extremely well-received, and that is in large part due to the dedication and excitement demonstrated by them this week. We would also like to express our thanks to the staff members and volunteers who worked tirelessly to ensure that the campers had a top-notch experience throughout the week. A very special thanks to the counselors who were literally on-call 24/7 during the week. The campers bonded with their counselors in a very unique way, and I am sure they will not be forgotten!

Although the camp experience has come to an end, the YPC experience is just getting ready to roll for another year! In just a few short weeks we will resume our regular weekly rehearsal schedule, and we would love to see our campers who are not currently members of YPC become permanent members. Please look for information in the mail on what to do if you are interested in enrolling for the fall term. All new and returning choristers will complete an assessment in the first few weeks of the fall term. We are very excited for all of the upcoming events this year!

If you have been following our blog during the week, but did not attend camp, you can also have the opportunity to audition for enrollment and join us in the fall. Please see our website for more information on Fall Term Auditions: You can also call our office at 814-898-6789 for more info. We are also on Facebook, so look for us there as well!

If you attended camp this year and would like to share your thoughts and reflections about the experience, please feel free to comment on the blog or send your reflections to:

We would love to get your pictures from the week posted on Facebook and the blog, so feel free to email your best shots to:

Although the blog posts may not be quite as frequent as they were during camp week, please continue to check the blog, as we will be continuing to post throughout the year to keep everyone updated on all of the exciting things we have going on during the next year!

Friday, August 13, 2010

YPC Erie 2nd Annual Gala a Success!

The final full day of choir camp was a huge success! Everyone including our day campers had a later start time this morning so that everyone would be fresh and ready for the Gala performance tonight. The day began with an all-camp warm-up session and pep talk to get everyone geared up for the rest of the day. Campers had a short practice session to clean up a few items in their songs and then went to lunch. Campers were beginning to feel emotional about leaving camp tomorrow:

"I do not want to leave tomorrow! This week has been awesome and I just can’t wait until next year. I’ve made even more friends this year and I have special ones that I don’t want to say goodbye to. The dance last night was amazing. My best friends for life were all dancing with me and we played all our favorite songs. All the girls dressed up and I had the best time." - Jacob M.

"Choir camp ROCKS!" - Sophia S.

After lunch, the campers were off to the Ambassador to have a dress rehearsal for the Gala performance. The campers thought the facilities were especially beautiful and loved performing in the chandelier-filled ball room. After the dress rehearsal, the campers ate pizza and watched a movie to relax, and then the Gala was off and rolling!

All involved in planning the Gala worked very hard to put on a spectacular event, and they did a phenomenal job. All of the mountain-themed decorations were beautiful, and the campers were staring at the displays every time we walked past them to get into the room. The event opened with a bang when the residential campers performed "Jai Ho", and the energy level established early on in the event only continued to grow throughout the night. The day campers had the crowd laughing while they sang "She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain", and then the program closed with our theme song for the week, "Ain't No Mountain High Enough". The audience was immediately on their feet at the end of the song. All of the campers put on a top-notch performance, and the YPC staff are incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication of all involved!

After the Gala performance was over and the day campers were signed out, the residential campers came back to campus to have a campfire cookout and sharing session. The campers had everyone in stitches as they revealed some of their antics that they had been keeping under wraps this week, and many of the campers commented on how much they loved their counselors and how hard the counselors and staff worked to make camp such an amazing experience. It was great to see everyone having such a great time unwinding after an eventful day.

Our camp week is coming to a close with only a half day left. The concert for family and friends promises to be very enjoyable, and will be a great way to close our camp for the year. It will be a very emotional departure for many, if not all, of our campers. The concert is free and open to the public and will begin at 12:30p.m. in McGarvey Commons on the campus of Penn State Behrend. We hope to see you there!!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The dancing shoes were on tonight!

Just as predicted, YPC had a very productive afternoon and evening. After swimming and recreation time, campers came back together for a short session to practice in McGarvey Commons, the space we will be holding our family and friends concert in on Saturday afternoon at 12:30 (free and open to the public - hint, hint). The day campers performed their entire set for the residential campers, and had the pleasure of a great reaction to all of the surprises in their rendition of "She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain". After performing for the other campers, the day campers were able to watch the residential campers perform "Jai Ho". They love seeing and hearing the song so much that they are completely silent for the entire length of the song. If that doesn't speak volumes about what is in store for you at the concerts this weekend, I don't know what does!

After a very nice dinner together in McGarvey, the campers had a dress rehearsal with the Stephen Trohoske Jazz Trio, who will also be playing at the Gala. The campers were very energetic and excited during the rehearsal, especially with the added bonus of a captive audience in the form of a WICU 12 cameraman!

While the residential campers continued their rehearsal, the day campers were able to spend some quality time together making posters for the Gala and helping to create centerpieces that would be used to decorate for the residential camp dance later in the evening.

After signing out the day campers, YPC staff members had approximately fifteen minutes to transform McGarvey into a decorated dance space, and thanks to some very ambitious volunteers, we were able to have the room converted into a YPC color-themed room, complete with dimmed lights, playlists created by our devoted counselors, and decorations made by the day campers! As the campers waited impatiently in the lobby, the doors were pushed open to reveal the dance space, and a crowd of exhilarated campers rushed in and immediately began to dance. The excitement level in the room was awesome, and campers only stopped dancing to grab a quick drink and snack to refuel for more fun on the dance floor. Having been together for four days now, no one was shy on the dance floor, not even the counselors and YPC staff members...I believe there may even be some photos of Dr. Bishop breakin' it down, much to the delight of all present.

Whether it is while the day campers are soaking in the adrenaline rush when they hear the cheering and applause of their older counterparts after performing for them, or while the residential campers are walking out the door after the fun and camaraderie experienced at the dance, the ear-to-ear smiles on their faces express far more than any blog entry can!

Day Four of Choir Camp week began with the arrival of some very well-rested and VERY energetic day campers (I guess they did go home and rest up after an earlier release time last night!). As the day campers went to start their morning rehearsal session, the residential campers were finishing breakfast and heading to a group sharing session. Campers had the opportunity to give voice to any problems or concerns they were feeling, and afterward the energy in the room at lunch was noticeably changed for the better. We are looking forward to a very productive evening.

“Day four is really fun. We have a dance tonight and everyone is really excited!” – Angel B.

Rockin’ out, wasn’t feeling well, but I’m pushing through and having a blast!!!!” – Kamyah B.

After the first afternoon rehearsal, the day campers went off to the pool (only asking when we were going swimming about 27 times in the hour right before) and the residential campers headed back to the dorm to have some group bonding time. Some were outside enjoying the beautiful sunshine, and others were inside the lobby area either having a dance party in the corner or using their creativity to create crafts for the Gala on Friday.

After recreation and downtime this afternoon, we will be having our first Gala dress rehearsal, and it will be a treat to see all of the progress the campers have been making this week. It will also be the first opportunity the campers will have to see ALL of the songs that each group has been working on. It is hard to believe that the week is already coming to a close, but all of the hard work is paying off in a big way!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

After last night’s performance, the campers had earned a bit of a leisurely morning. The residential campers slept in this morning, and the day campers arrived and had a “getting-to-know-you-better” session. (We learned a lot of very interesting middle names, much to their dismay, and heard many great stories about siblings and crazy pets!) The campers had a busy day ahead, so morning rehearsals began, and they were intense and very productive.

Some meal time comments:

"If you asked me two days ago if I wanted to come to choir camp I would’ve said no, because two days ago I thought that I wouldn’t know anyone and I’d be missing my best friend, and that I wouldn’t get along with anyone. That all changed when I walked in to Smith Chapel on Monday and I saw someone from my school. Don’t get me wrong, I do miss my best friend a lot, but not as much as I thought. Plus, I’m having a great time. Now if you would ask me today if I wanted to come to choir camp, I would say yes without even thinking. I would encourage everyone ages 7-17 to come to YPC choir camp!" - Ashley L.

"Choir camp is the best. I love it. It is so fun to do all of it. The meals are great(thanks, Bruno's!).The pool is awesome. The hikes might be long, but they are fun. Choir camp, you get a 10!" - Amanda C.

The day campers went for an off-campus performance at The Regency this afternoon, and were very excited. Some may think that giving a concert after only two and a half days is a crazy idea, but it is just your typical day at YPC! The day campers had worked very hard on all of their music and dancing, and gave a great performance, even presenting all of the songs from memory! We were very proud of them as each camper ages 7-10 stepped forward and introduced themselves, told the audience where they were from, and some made comments about all of the fun they have been having over the past few days. We were very warmly welcomed by the residents, and the campers had a great first performance experience! Things will just keep getting better and better for this weekend!

After returning from The Regency, the day campers rejoined the residential campers to practice the songs they sing together, and then everyone went down to the picnic grove for a relaxing dinner and great desserts. The day campers left after dinner (hopefully to get a good night’s rest!) and the residential campers got ready for their performance of the day. The residential campers gave a wonderful performance for an audience from Erie Homes for Children and Adults. The audience loved the upbeat songs, and the choreography was looking superb!

Kudos to all campers on a job well done! We are looking forward to more great performances over the next few days!

Bonding in the dorms

Dance Break!

Day camper crafts. Wouldn't you love to see one of these critters hanging on your fridge???

Having a great time during rehearsal
At long last, here are a few photos of our choristers having a great time at YPC Choir Camp! More to follow . . .

The young men of YPC Choir Camp practice their slick moves.

Waiting to depart for Jerry Uht Park to sing the National Anthem for the Erie SeaWolves Game.

Lots of friendships forming this week!

One of our multi-talented campers practicing flute in between singing rehearsals.

Our dedicated choristers practice their moves and music even in their break time!

Campers working hard in rehearsal to prepare for this week's performances!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

...and the home of the brave...

This afternoon’s rehearsals were filled with energy as the campers had their first opportunity to perform for each other. It is amazing to see how supportive all the campers are of each other. They are constantly taking every opportunity to help each other with tricky choreography steps and foreign language text.

What an exciting night! The campers had a fantastic time at the ballgame tonight, and their rendition of the national anthem was very well received. Crowd members were complimenting the campers left and right as they exited the field, and it was great for them to have so much positive feedback. They had their fill of “Buck Night” concessions, and because this was kids’ week, there were many other “freebies” handed out as well for the campers to enjoy.

Stay tuned tomorrow for some great action shots from rehearsals and the game!

A night of well-earned rest seems to have paid off in a big way for our campers! The day campers came back this morning all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed with both their Spanish lyrics AND dancing in tip-top shape (yesterday these were their two biggest fears), and word is that the residential campers were also in top choreographic form this morning. Parents and friends, you are in for a real treat at the end of the week!

Today's lunch crowd had plenty to say about Choir Camp 2010:

"This week for camp has been great. We had great activities. There was swimming, and tonight we get to sing The National Anthem at the Seawolves game. Hopefully everything will continue to go well through this week!" - David C.

"It has only been two days and I my decision to join YPC [after camp ends] has been greatly influenced. I actually enjoy working hard with other people that want this as bad as I do. In fact, I can tell I am working hard because of how tired I am at the end of the day. I am really excited to learn what they have to offer here and am very thankful I was given this opportunity!" - Katlyn K.

"This is how I know I love YPC : when 3 hours of practice feels like 20 minutes. I have missed YPC all through July, and am so so so happy to be back, doing what I love, again." - Meredith S.

Now we are gearing up for our performance of the National Anthem at the Erie Seawolves Game tonight and all of the campers are getting more exited with each passing moment!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Whew! Today was an exhausting day, but in the words of a day camper at our closing sharing session "it was so worth it"!

You might think that after swimming and crafting downtime the choristers would be a bit on the tired side, but that was not at all the case at this afternoon's rehearsals. The energy levels were very high as both the residential and day campers worked on songs representing the Sierra Madre mountain range for our mountain-themed gala and family concerts. The campers had a great time working with our choreographer to learn their salsa moves for the performance.

At dinnertime, the campers had more good reports to give:

"Today I had a great day. I started to see a lot more in some people here. It is a lot of fun, and so far everyone has been nice. I love YPC!" - Anastasia G.

"YPC is awesome! I made so many new friends already, and the songs are WAY cool. I can't believe I am here. I mean, I've been waiting to be here all year. Trust me, the experience is unbelievably awesome." - Sukayna A.

"Everything in camping is perfect. My roommate is so nice. All the girls and I are in dorms, and even the food is great!" - Brianna M.

After dinner, the campers had to put their dancing shoes back on for an intense choreography and music review session. We ended the day with a share session, and now the day campers are home getting some well-deserved rest, and the residential campers are off watching the video of YPC's recent Carnegie Hall debut. A perfect way to end an exciting and exhausting day!

Choir Camp 2010 is off and running!

All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go...

YPC's Choir Camp 2010 is once again off to a very successful start! Students started arriving this morning with bags of all shapes and sizes (I think some of them attempted to bring their entire bedroom, but that is a story for another day...).

The day began with an all-camp meeting and our very first rehearsal of our gala theme song "Ain't No Mountain High Enough". The campers are very excited for all of the mountain-themed music we have lined up for the week. We broke into smaller groups to rehearse other numbers before coming back together for lunch, and some of the campers took a few minutes to jot down a few thoughts on the day so far. Here's what they had to say:

"First day of camp, fantastic. I’ve already made some great friends and I can’t wait for the days to come! This is going to be a long week but it’s going to be amazing!" - Kayla M.

"Hey I am having a great time singing and even just talking and having a good time." - Andrew T.

The campers are off to arts and crafts and swimming, and are looking forward to more rehearsal time and learning all the new choreography later today!