Thursday, December 23, 2010

Winterlight: A Holiday Concert with YPC Erie

Let's set the scene: picture 75 choristers in small groups laughing and talking together as they decorate for the holidays with carols playing softly in the background. Now picture the older singers slowly turning toward the audience and singing a stirring rendition of "Christmas Time is Here" as the younger singers continue to wrap gifts and hang ornaments. This is how "Winterlight: A Holiday Concert with YPC" began.

Our holiday concert was held on Tuesday, December 21st to a sold out St. Patrick Church in Erie, PA. The night was filled with beautiful music and smiling faces. After the opening song, Cantare took the stage for their set, and their heavenly voices filled the church during John Rutter's "Angels' Carol". They ended their set with an upbeat African Christmas Greeting, "Kuwa Na Krismasi Njema", accompanied by the Pfeiffer-Burleigh World Drummers. The Young Men's Chorus had the audience enthralled from the very first notes of their opening song, Michael McGlynn's "Gaudete". Following intermission, the lights were turned off and the Concert Chorus took our breath away and wowed the audience with a candlelit version of McGlynn's "Jerusalem". After the Young Men joined the Concert Chorus, Chorale performed Will Schmid's "Oh Watch the Stars" with the World Drummers, and then continued their set, ending it with stirring performances of "How Many Christmases" by Jim Papoulis and "Betelehemu", arranged by Barrington Brooks. Cantare came back out to perform the concert's title song, "Winterlight" by Amy F. Bernon with the lights dimmed in front of the nativity scene. Just before the closing number, YPC led the audience in a carol sing-along, although once Santa was on the scene, Cantare members had a very hard time finishing the last carol because their faces were filled with awe as they watched him sneak up on Dr. Bishop! The final song of the night was "Believe" from The Polar Express, and as our emcee Kim Young said, the lyrics were a perfect way to end the night, and a great message for Erie.

Did you miss the holiday concert? After reading the descriptions above or hearing about the concert from your friends, are you wishing you had been there? Were you in attendance, but wishing you could revisit some of your favorite songs? Well, we have very exciting news for you! The concert will be rebroadcast on WQLN and at 7:00 a.m. on December 25th, and again at 3:00 p.m. on December 26th. So, tell your family and friends to tune in and get in the holiday spirit on Christmas morning. What could possibly be better than sitting back with coffee and cocoa, spending time with your loved ones, and listening to beautiful music from Erie's own Young People's Chorus on Christmas morning?

Happy Holidays from all of us at YPC Erie!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

YPC Erie's 2010 Fall Term is Coming to a Close: Past and Upcoming Events

YPC Erie's Concert Chorus, getting ready for a performance during the Erie Philharmonic Orchestra's Holiday Pops Concert

Always time for a goofy shot to get a few laughs before the concert!

Cantare performing at the Erie General Electric Federal Credit Union's Holiday Party

YPC Erie was presented with a very generous donation from the EGEFCU

YPC Erie has certainly had an exciting couple of months! The time seems to be flying by, and before you know it, we will be starting our Spring Term and welcoming new choristers as a result of our upcoming January auditions. Enough about January, let's focus on a review of our November and recent December events, and our upcoming Holiday Concert.

YPC was featured at the annual Africa 6000 Gala on November 6th, where they performed and helped to raise money to fund clean drinking water for communities in Africa. The choristers were very enthusiastic and eager to help such a great cause.

YPC Erie's 3rd Annual Honor Chorus Festival was held November 13th, and was a huge success! Singers from all across the area came together for a day of music-making and friendship-building. The day began with choristers arriving at 8:00 and picking up their music binder and t-shirt, and rehearsals began shortly after that. Rehearsals were intense for all involved, as most of the music performed in the evening concert was learned entirely in one day. Choristers had the opportunity to participate in bonding activities organized by the Penn State Behrend Choirs, and chat with current members about YPC and how to join. The day concluded with a concert held in McGarvey Commons, and featured performances by all YPC Choirs, Penn State Behrend Choir and Chamber Singers, and the Honor Chorus Participants. Fun was had by all, and we hope to see many of our participants back to audition for permanent membership in January!!!

Since we had so much fun at the Honor Chorus Festival, all of the participants were invited to come back the following weekend to sing the National Anthem for an Erie Bayhawks Game! The singers did a great job, and then had fun staying to watch the game.

At the end of November, YPC welcomed a new staff member: Kimberly Morewood, our new Director of Community Engagement. We are very excited to have her with us, and are looking forward to working with her!

After a short break from rehearsals for Thanksgiving, rehearsals began again to gear up for our holiday season. The choirs of YPC Erie had dual performances last weekend that were very well-received by the community. Cantare performed for the Erie General Electric Federal Credit Union's Holiday Party, which included performances of our own music, as well as a sing-along with some very enthusiastic audience members! At the conclusion of the performance, YPC Erie was presented with a very generous donation from EGEFCU, and the choristers all received an individual gift. While Cantare was performing at the Ambassador, Concert Chorus was busy performing at the Warner Theatre for the Erie Philharmonic Orchestra's Holiday Pops Concert. YPC received rave reviews from audience members, and had a great time performing in such a magnificent venue!

Our Fall Term will be drawing to a close with our upcoming holiday concert titled "Winterlight: A Holiday Concert with YPC". The concert will be held on Tuesday, December 21st at Saint Patrick Church in Erie. The concert will feature all of the YPC choristers, as well as a special performance by the Pfeiffer-Burleigh World Drummers. To purchase your tickets for the 2nd annual event, please visit our website at, or call (814)-898-6789.

After our break for the holidays, YPC Erie will be holding auditions for new members from January 3rd-7th. If you or someone you know is interested, please call (814)-898-6789 to schedule an audition!