AREAS OF STUDY
YMCO is a chorus and an orchestra, combined, to provide students the experience to successfully engage in music-making on the highest level. The human voice is Mother Nature’s oldest instrument, unduplicated, unique and beautiful. The chorus is a natural outlet for students to use their voices, electrifying and inspiring audiences with gorgeous choral sound. Playing an instrument is an acquired skill, perfected in weekly private lessons with leading teachers from the Bay Area. The orchestra, comprised of every student….vocalists, saxophonists, pianists…. is the foundation for YMCO’s comprehensive approach to music training. Exposure to the great works of Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Stravinsky, and Bernstein, is a life-changing experience for young musicians.
YMCO’s jazz training has been heralded by world-renowned clinicians who have donated time and energy to its development. The YMCO Big Band is the core training ensemble, coupled with two or more jazz combos. Presently, the combos – "4" Cast and The R&B Combo, perform regularly throughout the Bay Area. Based on the straight-ahead tradition, steeped in the blues, YMCO Jazz intends to ‘swing you into bad health’ (Frank Foster). Jazz is an evolutionary art form, best taught by musicians who are performers/teachers. YMCO’s instructors are supported by visiting artists, who donate services for clinics and master classes when they come to the Bay Area to perform. Thus far, clinics and workshops have been given by Marcus Belgrave, legendary trumpeter and educator; Kenny Garrett, alto sax; Herlin Riley, drums; Rodney Whitaker, bass; Ndugu Chancler, drums; Patrice Rushen, piano; Bennie Maupin, saxophone; and Hubert Laws, flute.