Beloved amongst most young New Yorkers, the rooftop is a place where we often come together during the warmer months of the year. Sunsets, sunrises, parties, dates, concerts, moments of solitude – all on the roof. From my perch on my own roof I’m pretty blessed to be able to see so much of the city, and as I usually do when I have a ‘New York moment’, I sent a few pictures of the view to my dad. He was a cab driver for the better part of 20 years during the 60s, 70s, and 80s. He lived in four out of the five boroughs (including Staten Island but never Queens!). He knows New York better than anyone I know, and his deep connection to the city was a big factor in my decision to move here 7 years ago.
After sending him a few pictures, I started to think about all of the things I couldn’t see, from the hills of Riverdale in The Bronx, to the Russian bazaars in Brighton Beach, to the massive stretch of Northern Boulevard that runs all the way through Queens to Long Island. Though we often flock to Manhattan (or maybe Williamsburg/Bushwick) to see concerts and other musical acts, there are such varied musical cultures in both the prominent and not-so-prominent parts of the city.
As is often the case, my thoughts then turned to YNYC. I had been considering programming a New York City-themed season for a number of months, but I was now finally able to articulate why. The best programming, I feel, always seeks to answer a question, and now that question was clear: how can we, as members of an incredible musical community, better connect with the entirety of the city we call home?
Our city goes by many names – The Big Apple, The City that Never Sleeps, Gotham. The Young New Yorkers’ Chorus knows it by another name – home. Join us as YNYC explores every corner of the great city of New York through song. We’ll be singing works composed in each of the five boroughs, in each of the five boroughs, while also celebrating the dynamic musical communities that have been built here throughout the years.
I look forward to seeing you at our concerts this year and invite you to come with us as we joyfully and humbly explore what it truly means to be a New Yorker.