The Young People’s Chorus (YPC) of Erie, a youth outreach program of Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, performed an impromptu concert for Senator Pat Toomey at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. as part of its annual summer tour last week.
The tour, which ran from June 16-20, saw YPC Erie travel through Maryland and Pennsylvania. Twenty members of YPC Erie’s Chorale, an advanced treble choir for young men and women, took part in the five-day tour.
The unscheduled performance for Senator Toomey came during a visit to Washington D.C. on June 18.
“Singing in the Russell Senate Office Building by invitation of Senator Pat Toomey was definitely a highlight of the trip,” said Alyson Amendola, executive director of YPC Erie. “The audience was large and the acoustics were incredible. We hope we made Erie and Penn State Behrend proud.”
The tour also saw YPC Erie perform at the Emmanuel United Methodist Church in North Laurel, Maryland; the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg; and the Penn State Hershey Medical Center in Hershey.
During the visit to the Pennsylvania State Capitol, Senator Sean Wiley, state senator for the 49th District, Erie County, arranged a tour of the Senate for the YPC Erie choristers.
“For the Young People’s Chorus of Erie, travel is one way we can represent the Penn State Behrend community outside of Erie. It also gives our choristers — many of whom have never been outside of the Erie area — the chance to meet new people, share their talents and gifts and serve as ambassadors,” Amendola said.
YPC Erie is northwest Pennsylvania’s only comprehensive youth choral music program. The organization dates back to 2009 when Howard Lincoln, local businessman and former director of choral activities at Penn State Behrend, recognized a need for young people in the Erie community to have opportunities to further their personal and creative talents and appreciation for the arts.
The mission of YPC Erie today remains true to its origin: give every child in the community the opportunity to further their personal and artistic growth and help foster cross-cultural understanding. With an emphasis on diversity, YPC Erie brings together young singers from across Erie County. Since 2009, more than 1,000 students from more than 40 different public, private and parochial schools have benefitted from the YPC Erie program — currently, more than 100 choristers participate in YPC Erie’s choirs.
Video of YPC Erie's performance for Senator Toomey: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvfbxlpfS2c&list=UUDUM4FFU1p-_YuHqmBglyXw
Video of YPC Erie's performance at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oc9YrZD6g6I