For the inaugural year of the Carnegie Hall Choral Institute, the Weill Music Institute is partnering with the Young People’s Chorus of New York City™ (YPC) for the Transient Glory® Symposium, a three-day workshop focusing on training choral conductors to work with newly composed music for young voices. This mission has been a passion of YPC’s Artistic Director and Founder Francisco J. Nuñez for more than ten years and is the main impetus behind his Transient Glory project. We asked the MacArthur Fellow about why he believes so strongly in the idea of commissioning new works for young singers. Choral conductors may apply by November 15, 2011 for their chance to be a part of the Transient Glory Symposium.
I know that children are capable of wonderful music making, and I wanted our young singers to understand and experience great music by today’s leading composers. I also wanted the children’s chorus to be elevated to a level where other performing ensembles would recognize them as a real instrument in creating musically artistic performances.
The choral conducting field and the choral educational system is so implanted in the past. Yet, we are surrounded by some of the greatest and most innovative composers of our time. We have to find ways to encourage conductors and educators to continuously work with living composers so that new music can continue to be written and performed. In return, composers will learn more about the ability of young singers and this specific instrument—the children’s chorus. I want to encourage composers to continue to include the children’s chorus in their music making so that we can make choral music even richer and more dynamic in the future.
Children love the concept of being on the edge. It is best when the music is unique, interesting, challenging, and is something that contributes to society. When children sing and are able to create and do it well, they feel strong as musicians and people. For them to be able to meet the composers elevates their artistic ability, and they become better musicians. I especially love when our singers begin to follow the new music and classical scene and see how it relates to everyday popular music. It all becomes “one” music after a while.
The Transient Glory concept will always be changing and growing. We have already created a radio component where composers are writing for children using technology on the radio. In addition, now we have this incredible opportunity to work with Carnegie Hall and create teacher-training programs to bring the music to many more singers. Finally, I continue to be inspired by what composers bring to the stage, film, TV, and radio, and I expect to continue to commission new works for our singers.
The concept of a youthful voice creating glorious music will always be the core of our program. However, I believe that this music will be performed by not only young people, but by any choral group. Why? Because the music is so incredible. Over time, our young people will grow up and leave this chorus. They will join other choirs and bring the music with them. Many more will join YPC and other choirs around the country. I am confident that this music will continue to find ways to inspire singers, composers, conductors, and audiences and make an important impact in our communities.
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