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2019 YMCO Summer Institute

The 2019 YMCO Summer Institute came to an end on Saturday, July 20th with an exciting performance of "MAMBO! A Celebration of Bernstein's Westside Store," held at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. This year, the summer institute was held at Claremont Middle School in Oakland, CA.

The choral orchestra kicked off the night with Bernstein's choral piece, "Take Care of this House," alongside world-renowned mezzo-soprano, Frederica von Stade, and then marched to their instruments to perform Danzon No. 2 (Arturo Marquez), West Side Story Medley, and Mambo. Mambo received an encore and a standing ovation!

The graduating seniors were then presented with special awards from the office of US Congresswoman Barbara Lee. We are proud to say that all 7 graduating seniors will be attending four-year universities on full or substantial scholarship in the fall.

Frederica von Stade then sang Bernstein's "Somewhere" with rising senior, Ajani Harris, followed by several solo performances from the Opera/Musical Theater group. The night came to an exciting ending when the Jazz Big Band started doing the mambo onstage!


This performance was recorded and will be shared once the editing has been finalized.

In the meantime, please scroll down for photos and videos from this year's summer camp. Stay tuned for the fall!

Photo Gallery 

Video Gallery

2019 Summer Institute

Choral Orchestra Members


Nathan Belcher

Astrid Chopp

Vyoma Oza*

Quincy Schreiber



Ruth Belayneh

Luna Cisneros

Valen Dotta

Heleena Getahun

Ryan Pham

Jordan Spencer



Heriberto Velez


French Horn

Ajani Harris

Abel Mahari



Emilio Bracken-Serra

Sebastian Borg

Giovanni Garcia

Julian Gonzales-Gutierrez

Israel Rangel-Mejia



Gus Goldstone

Jerry Okina

Mateo Shul


Jocelyn Bailey

Paulos Thomas



Francisco Tapia


Leilani Andres

Khristle Jordan

Ginnia Liu

Cymona Nguyen

Alondra Pacas

Raymond Smith

Alyssa Tan

Nathan Uy

Rachel White

Renata Volchinskaya


Erma Espinueva

Trinity Harper

Vincent Hu

Haile Rosengren

Tristan Williams**

Wesley Zhao



Kayin Beth

Brissa Mejia*

Leonela Mejia

Lyla Pham*



Lucila de Anda-Castaneda

Tip Hood

Yafeu Tyhimba*


Kieran Bracken-Serra

Luis Peralta

Nimah Rowden

Genius Wesley

2019 Summer Institute

Jazz Big Band Members

Jocelyn Bailey, saxophone

Ajani Harris, tenor saxophone

Heleena Getahun, clarinet/saxophone

Paulos Thomas, tenor saxophone

Heriberto Velez, baritone saxophone

Taijee Shavers, baritone saxophone

Quincy Schreiber, alto saxophone/flute

Raymond Smith, tenor Saxophone

Jordan Spencer, clarinet

Gus Goldstone, trombone

Jerry Okina, trombone

Mateo Shul, trombone

Francisco Tapia, trombone

Sebastian Borg, trumpet

Emilio Bracken-Serra, trumpet

Giovanni Garcia, trumpet

Ryan Pham, trumpet

Julian Gonzalez, trumpet

Luis Peralta, piano

Lucila de Anda, bass

Tip Hood, bass

Yafeu Tyhimba,* bass

Nimah Rowden, percussion

Genius Wesley, percussion

Kieran Bracken-Serra, percussion

2019 Summer Institute

Opera/ Musical Theater Members

Leilani Andres, soprano

Erma Espinueva, soprano

Ajani Harris, tenor

Khristle Jordan, soprano

Abel Mahari, tenor

Cymona Nguyen, soprano

Elliott Nguyen,* bass

Ryan Pham, treble
Israel Rangel-Mejia, treble

Vivian Stover,* mezzo-soprano

Alyssa Tan, soprano


Olivia Stapp, Stage Director
James Meredith, Artistic Director/Pianist

                              YMCO Director of Vocal Studies

2019 Summer Institute

Staff Members

Daisy Newman, Executive Director

Geechi Taylor, Director of Operations/ Jazz Big Band Conductor

Jaymes Kirksey, Choral Orchestra Conductor/ Violin Instructor

James Meredith, Artistic Director/Pianist/ YMCO Director of Vocal Studies

Brissa Mejia, Alumni Instructor

Vyoma Oza, Alumni Instructor

Vivian Stover, Alumni Instructor

Yafeu Tyhimba, Alumni Instructor

Tristan Williams, Viola Instructor

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