The following are program notes from YNYC Artistic Director Michael Kerschner for this Saturday, December 17’s YNYC Mixed Ensemble concert “Happiness.” To purchase your tickets, please visit ynychappiness.bpt.me.
“Truly to sing, that is a different breath.” – Rainer Maria Rilke
The collective noise of 2016 has amplified the ugliest voices of our time. Beautiful sentiments have been hushed, and while the strong and brave continue to use the language of possibility, they are heard through a disagreeable filter.
I find myself marveling at the beauty of the expressed sentiments of Christmas, and I despair that they are out of reach: humility, charity, and joy are as far away from us as a distant star. It is aggravating when the symbols of the season are defended without regard for the meanings they contain.
Meaning is YNYC’s currency, and it informs our dedication to loveliness. It is the calling of our time that all voices go forth and wrap the pursuit of happiness in beauty. We are meant to journey to the star ourselves, together– to take part in the great pilgrimage.
The harmony we desire is difficult to attain when we fail to remember that it contains both dissonance and consonance. Perhaps it is the season to be in unison. When others say that the perfect unison is unattainable, we remember that this is also the season to believe. When happiness belongs to all, it dominates the sound waves. Dissonance has an instinct to resolve, and so do we.
Artistic Director, Young New Yorkers’ Chorus
“Independence is happiness.” – Susan B. Anthony