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The Grammy Award-winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus ends its 14th season with an evening of world premieres composed especially for students attending New York City’s only voice-based after-school music academy.

The "Sweet Songs of Youth" program will be performed May 20 in Long Island University’s Kumble Theater. The commissioned works are from a trio of musicians: renowned jazzman Fred Hersch, new music pioneer Nico Muhly (pictured) and Broadway tunesmith Andrew Lippa.

Hersch’s "Please Smile," for four-part chorus, bass and electric guitar, is an homage to two of Hersch’s favorite vocal groups: Earth Wind and Fire and Take 6. Muhly’s "The Sweets of Evening," for four-part chorus and piano, takes advantage of the textures of ever-changing children’s voices. "Hope," for three-part chorus and piano, is Lippa’s first foray into choral writing for a children’s group.

Works ranging from the baroque (J.S. Bach) to the 20th century (Bela Bartok) are also on the program, which is led by the group’s founder, Dianne Berkun. Before the concert, Brooklyn Philharmonic Director of Education Ted Wiprud moderates a discussion with the world-premiere composers.

The Brooklyn Youth Chorus performs new works by Hersch, Muhly and Lippa on May 20 at 7:30 pm at the Kumble Theater on LIU’s Brooklyn campus, Flatbush Avenue Extension at DeKalb Avenue in Downtown Brooklyn. Tickets - $17 (general admission), $35 (preferred seating) and $70 (VIP seating and post-concert reception) - are available at or by calling (718) 488-1624. For more information, visit

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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