GQBy Mike Hilleary | May 17, 2019
"Menaker: The songs that feel like they're interludes, they're kind of more like washes of tone. I knew that there was this film piece. I knew that we were trying to kind of create these ethereal washes of sound where they're more fluid. They're definitely meant to be atmospheric. A lot of that is sliding between pitches or layering a lot of tone clusters, where they're just kind of moving in and out of dissonant harmonies. And then, you know, I knew how to approach pieces like "Rylan," where it's with the band and you've got the backbeat going and it’s just straight ahead band energy, with all the things that you'd associate with doing that. And then the pieces are maybe a little more introspective, like "Oblivions," where we start out doing more of a background thing, and then we take it over with this corral at the end. I think it's really to Bryce's credit that he has the vision to put things together that you wouldn't expect."
"Lushly furnished with strings and digitally manipulated guitars, mercurial rhythms and a chorus of guest-starring vocalists (including Sharon Van Etten, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Lisa Hannigan, Mina Tindle and David Bowie collaborator Gail Ann Dorsey), the album explores vignettes of tenderness, fear and intimacy. Weaving voices together, its story carries personal and political entanglements which feel both timeless and timely."
Singing Caroline Shaw's "Anni's Constant" from the "Black Mountain Songs" album, Brooklyn Youth Chorus provides the soundtrack to the Chanel Pharrell Collection Spring 2019.
I Care If You ListenBy Alyssa Kayer-Hirsh | April 3, 2019
"The young singers of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus proved yet again that the future of music is in capable hands."
TexturaDecember 27, 2018
“Don't mistake Brooklyn Youth Chorus for a grade-school choir belting out gleeful tunes for the school assembly. Though the group's singers range in age from twelve to eighteen, they're a preternaturally mature bunch unafraid of tackling topically relevant issues and injustice in all its forms. A natural tension emerges in the contrast between the youthful sonorities of their voices and the dramatic political content presented in the group's sophomore album, but if anything that contrast accentuates how central such issues already are for a generation on the cusp of adulthood. It's not hard to understand how the singers come to be so enlightened: members of the Grammy Award-winning outfit (for its involvement in the premiere recording of John Adams's On the Transmigration of Souls) are drawn from five boroughs and thus represent a socio-economically diverse portrait of NYC youth.”
I Care If You ListenBy Amanda Cook | December 21, 2018
"Silent Voices not only gives voice to those who have been historically marginalized, but also gives the members of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus agency over their message and their music making, allowing them to act as catalysts for change. The young choristers not only demonstrate a mature comprehension of the subject matter, but also exhibit an impressive command of vocal styles ranging from hip hop to gospel to contemporary techniques to bel canto singing."
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music ReviewBy Grego Applegate Edwards | December 20, 2018
"A lively vaguely Asian percussion singularity and an alto flute in harmonics mode begins the work mysteriously and the very pronounced resonance of the work is established. The work falls naturally into the performative of soloists and chorus and the instrumental parts too seem natural. Yet all of it has an almost ritual primality at times, as definite echoes of the Noh music from the original. At the same time in varying degrees there is a High Modernity of harmonic-melodic intent. All this works quite well for a result very intriguing and worthwhile. It all falls most nicely onto the ears. The youth chorus gives the sound quality a heightened mythical aura as does the orchestration as well. It is most lovely music! Nathan Davis is a natural! Brilliant!"
I Care If You ListenBy Jeremiah Cawley |
"The truth of Silent Voices is that the Brooklyn Youth Chorus displays tremendous musicianship, stylistic sensitivity, and vocal flexibility while powerfully demanding that listeners confront hard truths about racism, gender roles and discrimination, ageism, the social responsibilities of politics, and displaced populations. Period."
"What a lot of people don’t realize is that there is an entrepreneur behind the Brooklyn Youth Chorus: Dianne Berkun Menaker, a former music teacher who founded the 600-member choir in 1992."
I Care if You ListenJuly 17, 2018
"For their part, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus endeavors to “celebrate the power of young people to be instruments of change, amplifying the voices of those who have been overpowered, marginalized, or rendered silent.”
Silent Voices composer Toshi Reagon discusses her work "Brooklyn Bound" in WQXR's Q2 Music short documentary "Holding Gentrification."
It has been a milestone year for us at Brooklyn Youth Chorus. We released our first album, were Artists-in-Residence at WQXR, had our Broadway debut and realized an impactful evening-length work, Silent Voices, on the BAM Opera House stage. In this video, we interview current students and alumni, New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert, and our own Founder & Artistic Director Dianne Berkun Menaker to show you what Brooklyn Youth Chorus is all about.
The New YorkerBy Russell Platt | March 27, 2017
“Black Mountain Songs” earned a rave review in the Times—and when you hear the astonishingly secure performance of the young singers, who have been tasked with executing some formidably complex choral textures, you immediately understand why. But when divorced from the production the unevenness of the selections is inevitably apparent."
New Amsterdam Records is proud to announce the release of Black Mountain Songs, the debut album from the Grammy Award-winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus, out March 31.
Brooklyn Youth Chorus performs at the 90th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.