By ADEDAYO PERKOVICH, age 10

 The Young People's Chorus travels all over the world and has won many international awards. PHOTO: Angela Duryea
The Young People’s Chorus travels all over the world and has won many international awards. PHOTO: Angela Duryea

I have a passion for music. I sing in the Young People’s Chorus (YPC) of New York City, a multicultural youth chorus. Singing makes me feel like a handkerchief floating up to the heavens. I believe in pushing yourself to do what you love, and I really had to push myself to audition for YPC. My palms were sweaty and my heart pounded in my chest, but I did it, and I’ve come very far since that audition. I have performed at the 92nd Street Y, the Beacon Theatre, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. Being in YPC gives me a sense of community and has built my confidence.

YPC was founded in 1988 by Francisco Nuñez. Almost 1,400 kids, from ages seven to 18, sing in various YPC choral groups around the city. It is YPC’s mission to give children of different cultural and economic backgrounds a musical education and provide a choral performance program. In rehearsal, we have about 10 minutes of warm-ups to prepare our voices, and then we start zipping through music scores. My chorus works on music from all over the world in many different languages, including Estonian and Japanese. The chorus travels all over the world and has won many international awards.

First Lady Michelle Obama recognized YPC with a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award in 2011. The award honors organizations that engage kids in the arts to help them in school and life. Mr. Nuñez was also named a MacArthur Fellow in the same year, receiving $500,000 from the MacArthur Foundation for “exceptional merit and promise.” Mr. Nuñez has said, “We want to continue to raise awareness among people everywhere of the importance of inclusiveness and diversity to the future of society.”