The Young People’s Chorus of New York City Gives Voice to All Our Complicated COVID Emotions
If you haven’t seen the brilliant AloneTogether installation by the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, there’s still time. The immersive exhibit debuted last November at the High Line Gallery in Manhattan for a three-month run before traveling to Napa, California in July. Now, it has been extended at The CIA at Copia in Napa through the end of September.
The mixed-media art installation explores how COVID-19 has impacted children and young adults around the world, expressed through commissioned pieces by composers, songwriters, and poets and recorded by the Young People’s Chorus.
A wide array of art forms come together in this project: video, sculpture, music, film, poetry, and spoken word. 500 singers with the Young People’s Chorus join the 15 composers and songwriters, seven poets, three choreographers, and two filmmakers to bring the stories to life. The exhibition aims to provide a powerful and intimate portrayal of the emotional strength, resilience, and joy these young choristers have faced since the pandemic first began in the spring of 2020.
“It was important to us to help our youth process their emotions — from confusion to fear to hope — through art while allowing listeners and viewers a glimpse into their hearts and minds during this time,” says curator Francisco J. Núñez, artistic director and founder of Young People’s Chorus.
Just like the rest of us, the members of the youth chorus have gone through a whirlwind of emotions throughout the pandemic. Pieces in the exhibit include songs like “Cabin Fever,” expressing what it felt like to suddenly be alone at home with stressed family members and no access to friends and old routines. “My Rainbow in the Window” is about finding small joys even during quarantine. “Power to the People” says “Just because we’re stuck at home doesn’t mean we’re stuck in our minds; just because we can’t hold each other doesn’t mean we stop the smiles. Fifty states protesting together, look at that a strong celebration. They won’t die in vain, we’re gonna fight, it’s time to save our nation.”
Participating artists include composers Samuel Adler, Derek Bermel, Thomas Cabaniss, Paquito D’Rivera, Aneesa Folds, Gordon Getty, Michael Gordon, Michael Harrison, Ted Hearne, Yuka C. Honda, David Lang, Elizabeth Núñez, Francisco J. Núñez, Jim Papoulis, and Paola Prestini. The exhibit is free and open to the public daily at the CIA at Copia, 500 1st St, Napa, California.
“We are thrilled that the public response to our AloneTogether installation at The CIA at Copia has been so positive that we have been asked to extend the exhibit through September,” says Núñez. “AloneTogether is a dynamic multimedia project that will give viewers a powerful and intimate portrayal of the range of emotions YPC choristers faced during the early days of the pandemic, from fear and loneliness to hope and joy. Art has given our youth a powerful vehicle through which they can process these complicated emotions and share them with the world. This is the power and beauty of art and what we do at YPC.”