Photo by Gus Powell

Photo by Gus Powell


Now in its twenty-first season, the GRAMMY® Award-winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus (BYC), under the direction of Founder and Artistic Director Dianne Berkun-Menaker is one of the country’s leading children’s choruses and the ensemble of choice for internationally renowned orchestras and artists.

The Chorus studies and performs a vast repertoire of music—classical and contemporary—and has an active commissioning program to develop new works for young voices across a variety of genres. BYC has appeared with acclaimed orchestras and conductors, including Valery Gergiev, Lorin Maazel, Marin Alsop, James Levine, Robert Spano, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Reinbert de Leeuw as well as celebrated recording artists such as Barbra Streisand, Elton John, Lou Reed, Grizzly Bear and John Legend. BYC won a GRAMMY® Award for the world premiere live recording of John Adams’s On the Transmigration of Souls with the New York Philharmonic in 2005.

Known for its polished performances, the Chorus frequently appears at such important music festivals as BAM’s Next Wave Festival (with the Kronos Quartet and Wally Cardona), BAM’s Crossing Brooklyn Ferry Festival curated by indie-rockers Aaron and Bryce Dessner, the Ecstatic Music Festival and Park Avenue Armory’s Tune-In Festival. BYC has also garnered a strong reputation as an arts presenter with such major collaborative projects as Brooklyn Village, co-produced with the Brooklyn Philharmonic and Roulette Theater in 2012 and Tell the Way, co-produced with St. Ann’s Warehouse and featuring composer Nico Muhly in 2011.

The singers receive training from the Brooklyn Youth Chorus Academy (BYCA)—a performance-based vocal music education program serving more than 400 students annually in six ensembles. Rehearsals occur at BYCA headquarters in Cobble Hill and a newly launched annex in Bedford-Stuyvesant. BYCA choristers, who are seven to 18 years old, hail from 71 different zip codes, reflecting the broad diversity of the Metropolitan area.

Last Updated: July 1, 2013


Blake Zidell