Friday, November 16, 2007

New York in Sync

Artistic Director Francisco Núñez leading The Young People's Chorus of NYC at a sold-out Carnegie Hall.
At the end of last month, the Young People’s Chorus of New York City performed for their 10th anniversary benefit evening at Carnegie Hall, followed by a dinner at the New York Athletic Club which is two blocks north of the concert hall.  Francisco J. Núñez, artistic director and founder of the Young People’s Chorus (YPC), announced that the chorus’s gala had raised $900,000 for the organization. 

Three-sheet poster announces 10th anniversary Carnegie Hall concert of the Young People's Chorus of New York City.
The proceeds were also matched with a $200,000 endowment gift from the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust towards the establishment of an endowment. The purpose of the endowment is to ensure the future of the Young People’s Chorus in perpetuity, with special emphasis on scholarships for underprivileged children and music commissions.  The remaining proceeds are earmarked for YPC’s choral literary and performance programs.

Making the evening possible were co-chairs YPC Board Chairman, The Honorable A. Jerry Kremer; Hiroko Onoyama, executive advisor and former vice president in the chairman and founder’s office at Sony; and YPC board members Nancy Bloom and Roger Ross.  For their untiring efforts on behalf of the chorus, YPC board member Suzan Kremer and Philip H. Lovett, founding partner of Millennium Partners, were presented with the YPC’s Community Service Award and its Corporate Award, respectively. 

The Carnegie Hall concert hosted by Soledad O’Brien from CNN and John Schaefer from WNYC was completely sold out with artists from many areas of the musical universe donating their performances in special musical arrangements with members of the YPC and the New York Pops.  These included Phil Stacey from American Idol who opened the show; Rosanne Cash who sang I Still Miss Someone written by her father Johnny Cash; from Broadway’s Jersey Boys, Tony-winner Christian Hoff and Bobby Spencer who sang the world premiere of his own composition I Believe; the international reggae sensation Maxi Priest who traveled to Carnegie Hall from his home in London, former YPC member Elizabeth Ziman with her hit indie band Elizabeth & the Catapult, Broadway’s Hugh Panaro (Phantom of the Opera), and Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins), and the Stephen Petronio Company.
Phil Stacey and Kendra from American Idol
Benefit co-chairs Nancy Bloom and Hiroko Onoyama
The concert culminated in a spectacular and emotional performance by all 1000 YPC choristers seated throughout the hall and on stage in The Song I Sing— a joyous combination of classical, jazz and, rap—specially written as a gift for the occasion by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, the Tony Award-winning collaborators of such shows as Seussical and Ragtime.  Afterwards, Ms. Ahrens summed up the concert as “drop dead fabulous!”

The Young People’s Chorus of NYC was founded by artistic director Francisco J. Núñez to bring together children of different  backgrounds — ethnic, religious and economic — to work together towards the common goal of making beautiful music, while at the same time opening up the minds of the children to other cultures and ways of life, resulting in deep bonds and an understanding that would influence each and every child, and through those children their families and their communities.  The chorus has grown from just nine boys and girls at the start to 1000 neighborhood kids who participate through the chorus’s core after-school program and seven Satellite schools throughout the city from Crown Heights and the Upper West Side to Harlem and the South Bronx.

Over the past 10 years, the Young People’s Chorus, in residence at the 92nd Street Y, has distinguished itself as one of today’s finest youth choruses, with performances on three continents and gold medals won in international choral competitions. The chorus returns to Isaac Stern Auditorium in December for a Christmastime Family Concert presented by Carnegie Hall. 
Jerey Boys Christian Hoff and the Young People's Chorus of NYC sing "High Hopes"
Richard Berger, Neil Costa and Lynn Ahrens, and Marilyn Olin Berger
Bob McGrath and his wife Ann with benefit co-chair Suzan Kremer and The Honorable A. Jery Kremer
Francisco J. Nunez (center) poses with YPC founding trustees George Nemeth, Bruce Rosenblatt, Hoc Noble, and J.B. Harrison
They raised $3.1 million for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory at its 2nd annual Double Helix Medals Dinner. The event honored David H. Koch, for Corporate Leadership, and Richard Axel, M.D. and Michael Wigler, Ph.D., for Scientific Research. The black-tie gala event was held at New York City’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

“Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has long been recognized for its excellence in biological and biomedical science research,” said Dr. Bruce Stillman, Laboratory President. “It is only fitting that we recognize individuals who have dedicated their lives to raising the awareness of the importance of genetics research for improving the health of people everywhere.”

The Double Helix Medal, inaugurated in 2006, refers to the unique structure of DNA molecule, which carries all of life's information. It is central to biological research, and is at the heart of work at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

The funds raised will fortify and expand Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s leadership role in making groundbreaking research discoveries, developing innovative technologies to study the fundamental aspects of human health, and continue teaching the next generation of scientists.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is a private, non-profit research and education institution at the forefront of research in cancer and molecular biology, neuroscience, plant genetics, and bioinformatics and genomics. Under the leadership of Bruce Stillman, Ph.D., President, more than 400 scientists conduct groundbreaking research to advance the understanding and ability to diagnose and treat cancers, autism, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other causes of human suffering.

For more information on Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, please visit
Louise Parent, Dr. Gillian Shepherd, and Eduardo Mestre
Lisa Kennedy DiLoretta, Michael Kennedy, and Elenora Kennedy
Mrs. and Dr. Michael Wigler
Tom Quick, Jodi Morrison, and Dr. Bruce Stillman
David and Julia Koch
Evelyn Lauder, David Koch, Amanda Haynes-Dale, and Julia Koch
Carol McFadden, Phil Donahue, and David Koch
Dr. Paul Marks and Joan Marks
Dr. Michael Axel
Hillie Mahoney and Charles Dana
Amanda Haynes-Dale and Gail Hilson
Phil Donahue and Dr. Bruce Stillman
This past Monday night at the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center, The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative held its annual dinner to honor the 2006-2007 artists. The Initiative is an international mentor-protégé program that pairs exceptional young artists in visual arts, music, dance, theater, literature, and film with masters in their fields for a year of one-on-one collaboration.

The evening hosted by Rolex chairman Patrick Heiniger, brought out a large contingent of distinguished guests including Martin Scorsese, Julie Taymor, Anthony Minghella, Carlos Saura, Lynn Redgrave,Natasha Richarson, Liam Neeson, Anna Deavere Smith, Kate Valk, Diane von Furstenberg, Narciso Rodriguez, Rachel Roy, Derek Lam, Chuck Close, Alex Katz, Jeff Koons, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, William Wegman, John Baldessari, Jesseye Norman, Agnes Gund, Veronica Hearst, Anne Bass, Youssou N’Dour, Pinchas Zukerman, Mary Boone, Marian Goodman, A. M. Homes, Toni Morrison, William Forsythe, Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka and Miss Universe Riyo Mori.
Josué Méndez, Selina Cartmell, Pinchas Zukerman, Anani Dodji Sanouvi, John Baldessari, Julie Taymor, Stephen Frears, Edem Awumey, David Aaron Carpenter, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Tahar Ben Jelloun, and Alejandro Cesarco
The six 2008-2009 mentors, spanning six disciplines  and hailing from five countries, are: filmmaker Martin Scorsese; artist Rebecca Horn; musician Youssou N’Dour; writer Wole Soyinka; actress Kate Valk; and choreographer Jirí Kylián.

In the coming months, Scorsese, Horn, Soyinka, N’Dour, Valk, and Kylián will each choose a protégé from a group of finalists identified by international panels of nominators. Once the 2008-2009 protégés are selected, each pair will spend one year working together in any way they choose, often engaging in extended dialogue, and sharing and refining their creative work.

All I can say is “WOW!” for the lucky artists.
David Aaron Carpenter and Lady Valerie Solti
Diane von Furstenberg
John Baldessari
Renée Fleming
Elizabeth Bracco and Aidan Quinn
Lynn Redgrave and Stephen Frears
Joyce and David Dinkins
Ada and Alex Katz
Nina Stevens and Patrick Heiniger
Aida and Youssou N'Dour
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Martin Scorsese
Nikki Haskell and Stephen Baldwin
Lesley Forsyth, Amanda Forsyth Zukerman, Pinchas Zukerman, and Kazuko Shiommi
The New York Public Library’s Cubs Program, a membership group dedicated to families, went “On the Road” with Maps last month.

While younger Cubs followed a “mapped out” road to Grandmother’s House with Little Red Riding Hood and Special Guest Storyteller Ethan Hawke, older Cubs spent the morning in the Map Division.
Ethan Hawke reading Little Red Riding Hood to Cubs
For information on the Library Cubs Program, please visit:
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants author, Ann Brashares and daughter
Cubs Co-Chairs Katie Michel, Gretchen Rubin, and Vicky Ward and children
Cubs co-chair Gretchen Rubin and Ethan Hawke
Little Red Riding Hood with Cubs
Little Red Riding Hood with Hannah and Louisa McFarland
In the Map Division
FoundCare, the organization building the home for Palm Beach County’s newest community health center for uninsured and underinsured children and adults, partnered with Roche International for a breakfast lecture at Palm Beach’s Café Boulud featuring author, actor and activist Christopher Kennedy Lawford.

Lawford spoke eloquently about his past- memories of his parents Peter Lawford and Pat Kennedy Lawford, uncle John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe (who taught him how to do the twist) and sharing birthdays with Judy Garland and Sid Luft’s son Joe (they were even born at the same LA hospital.) But it was his inspiring tale about his personal triumphs over drug and alcohol addiction (21 years sober) and a successful battle with Hepatitis C that captured the crowd.
Christopher Kennedy Lawford, Steven Stolman, and Trent Steele with model of FoundCare Community Health Center now under construction in West Palm Beach, FL.
That and the Kennedy magic, which still fascinates like nothing else. There: Tricia Burt, Bob Matthews, Patty Myura, Trent Steele, Mia Morrison, Jim Collins, Leslie Singletary, Jack Young,  Jackie and Beau Breckenridge, Mark Montgomery,  Brantley Knowles, Weezie Stuart, Lydia Crozier, Donna Mulholland, Fred Scheiman, James Tigani, Claude Rosinski, Liz and Stephen Sans, Steven Stolman (FoundCare’s Director of Development), Dr. Richard White from Roche Diagnostics, Palm Beach medical pharmacologist Dr. Marile Santamarina, Thom Smith, Liz Quinn and Ryan Messing.
Bob Matthews, Tricia Burt, and Christopher Kennedy Lawford
Liz and Stephen Sans
Trent Steele and Mia Morrison
Christopher Kennedy Lawford
Jim Collins and Dr. Marile Santamarina
Jay and Sally Nisberg with Mark Montgomery
John Domenico, Ellen Clarke, and Beau Breckenridge
Jackie Breckenridge and Steven Stolman
Nancy Mizelle and Dr. Richard White
Claude Rosinski and Stephen Sans
Weezie Stuart and Brantley Knowles
Carin Acree and Ann Cavanaugh
Christopher Kennedy Lawford and Donna Mulholland with Lawford's book "Symptoms of Withdrawal"
Patty Myura and Lydia Crozier
Dr. Richard White and Dr. Marile Santamarina

Photographs by Stephanie Berger (YPC); © (Cold Spring); Lucien Capehart (FoundCare).

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