Young People’s Chorus of New York City Continues to Expand and Advance the Repertoire for Young Voices with World Premieres of Six New Works in Two Transient Glory Concerts

New York, NY (September 20, 2016)―The award-winning Young People’s Chorus of New York City and Artistic Director and Founder Francisco J. Núñez continue their groundbreaking Transient Glory new music series with the world premieres of six choral works for young voices in concerts at National Sawdust on Friday, November 4 at 7:00 p.m. and Merkin Concert Hall on Sunday, November 6 at 7:00 p.m.

Hosted by WNYC’s John Schaefer, the performances feature new works by six distinguished composers representing a wide range of perspectives and styles, including Mason Bates, YPC Composer-in-Residence Michael Gordon, Joan La Barbara, YPC alumna Jessie Montgomery, Robert Xavier Rodriguez, and Charles Wuorinen.

Mr. Núñez created Transient Glory as a platform for today’s important composers―those who write major orchestral works, operas, and chamber music―to write for children’s chorus. Mr. Núñez says, “I wanted to inspire today’s Mozarts and Beethovens to write masterworks for the 21st- century children’s chorus, with subjects that would appeal to the young minds of today.” Now, nearly two decades later with over 100 compositions commissioned and premiered by YPC, Transient Glory has established an awareness among composers of the child’s voice as a significant instrument for making music. Transient Glory works have now been performed by youth choirs worldwide and many of the works have become part of the standard repertoire for children’s chorus.

Conducted by Mr. Núñez and accompanied by YPC principal pianist Jon Holden, the programs at National Sawdust and Merkin Concert Hall feature the premieres of:

  • Michael Gordon’s Great Trees of New York City, a work that celebrates historic trees from New York City’s five boroughs, representing the diversity and scale of the city’s urban forest
  • Joan La Barbara’s A Murmuration for Chibok, with lyrics by Monique Truong, which promises never to forget the more than 250 school girls abducted by Boko Haram in Chibok, Nigeria in 2014
  • Jessie Montgomery’s Danse Africaine, set to a poem by Langston Hughes, with a dance-like character that stays true to the poem’s natural sense of rhythm and cadence
  • Robert Xavier Rodriguez’s A Surfeit of Similes set to Norton Juster’s humorous and witty poem of over 100 similes, ranging from “as poor as a church mouse” and “as flat as a pancake” to “as sad as adieu”
  • Charles Wuorinen’s Exsultet, based on the ancient chant to which the Easter Proclamation is declaimed; with the chant’s phrases elaborated canonically, melodically, and harmonically for chorus, piano, trumpet, and trombone
  • Movements from Mason Bates’ new SATB version of Sirens, depicting mysterious and mythical sirens from history and literature, with texts from Homer’s Odyssey, the Book of Matthew, poems by Heinrich Heine and Pietro Aretino, and stories from the indigenous South American Quechua people

​Tickets for the Friday, November 4 concert at National Sawdust (80 North Sixth Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn) are $35 and available at or by calling (646) 779-8455.

​Tickets for the Sunday, November 6 concert at Merkin Concert Hall (129 West 67th St.) are $25 ($15 for students) and available at the box office, at, or by calling (212) 510-3330.

In addition to the concert series, the Transient Glory initiative has included new music symposia with NYU and Carnegie Hall providing intensive training workshops and performances of Transient Glory music for conducting fellows; a Transient Glory series of publications of these works by Boosey & Hawkes in association with other music publishers, such as Chester Novello and G. Schirmer; and recordings. Transient Glory III, the third installment in the recording series features commissions by John Corigliano, Michael Gordon, Meredith Monk, Terry Riley, and Bora Yoon. The recording was released in November 2015 on Bang On a Can’s Cantaloupe Music label and named “Album of the Week” by WQXR’s Q2 Music, which stated, “Transient Glory III offers a glimpse of what makes the Young People’s Chorus such outstanding interpreters: the solid, elegantly controlled and blended sound one would expect from a mature ensemble, combined with the bold and adventurous energy of youth.”

The Young People’s Chorus of New York City, founded in 1988 by Artistic Director Francisco J. Núñez, a MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellow, harnesses the power of music to fulfill the potential of children of any cultural or economic background, while heightening an awareness of the ability of young people to rise to unforeseen levels of artistry. Each year over 1,600 children ages 7 to 18 benefit musically, academically, and socially through their participation in YPC’s after-school and in-school programs. YPC has been recognized with a National Medal of Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award.


Friday, November 4 at 7:00 p.m.
National Sawdust
80 North Sixth Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Tickets are $35 and available at or by calling 646-779-8455.

Sunday, November 6 at 7:00 p.m.
Merkin Concert Hall
129 W 67th St, New York, NY

Tickets are $25 ($15 for students) and available at the box office, by calling 212-510-3330 or online at


Young People’s Chorus of New York City
Francisco J. Núñez, conductor
Jon Holden, piano
John Schaefer, host

MASON BATES     Movements from Sirens
MICHAEL GORDON    Great Trees of New York City
JOAN LA BARBARA    A Murmuration for Chibok
JESSIE MONTGOMERY    Danse Africaine
CHARLES WUORINEN     Exsultet (Praeconnium Paschale)


Press contact:
Lisa Jaehnig | Shuman Associates | | (212) 315-1300