For Immediate Release
AT # 1

The debut recording by the New York Youth Symphony (NYYS), with Music Director Michael Repper, has consistently been in Billboard's Traditional Classical Chart since its release on April 8, 2022. Now, the day after the orchestra's sensational season closing concert at Carnegie Hall, the album has scaled the chart to land at Number 1.
Featuring four works by three African American women composers – Florence Price, Valerie Coleman and Jessie Montgomery – the orchestra’s first studio recording was remarkably made in the midst of the COVID pandemic. Repper recalls, “The NYYS, like other orchestras, had its entire slate of concerts cancelled in the spring of 2020. Performing live was impossible, but we were determined to create a way to make music and bring it to our audience. So I suggested making an album, and in November 2020 that’s what we did!”
Repper shares the ethos and experience of making the recording in an
enlightening blog for Gramophone magazine. Praising the performances, The Arts Fuse said, "The NYYS plays it all with panache ... and at a very high level."
The New York Youth Symphony comprises some of the world’s most talented and awarded young musicians, aged 12 to 22. The theme of unity permeates the project which brought them together in multiple ways, even when they had to play while separated. Each socially distanced section of the orchestra was recorded individually, sometimes playing to click track. The logistics were masterminded by this year’s Grammy Award-winning classical producer Judith Sherman.
Two works are by Florence Price: Ethiopia's Shadow in America in its first recording by an American orchestra; and her Piano Concerto in One Movement, with soloist and Price champion Michelle Cann, in the premiere recording of the composer’s recently-discovered original orchestration. Though in one movement, Price’s concerto is in three distinct sections from which AVIE has created two singles – the exuberant final section, and the middle section which has quickly gained status as “Price’s Adagio.” With the recent resurgence of Price's music, the NYYS release leads a pack of three albums featuring the composer's music currently appearing on Billboard's Traditional Classical Chart.
Also on the album are works by two of today’s most vibrant young composers. Umoja – meaning “unity” in Swahili – by Valerie Coleman originated as a song for women’s choir, its transformation for orchestra given its first recording here. Soul Force by NYYS alum Jessie Montgomery draws on Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. The attention drawn to these works through the NYYS recording has spurred numerous performances world-wide.
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Works by Florence Price, Valerie Coleman and Jessie Montgomery

New York Youth Symphony
Michael Repper, conductor
Michelle Cann, piano

Release date:
April 8, 2022

Catalogue number:
AVIE Records AV2503 (digital and single CD digipack)

Track list:
Florence Price (1887–1953)
Ethiopia’s Shadow in America (1932)
1. I. The Arrival of the Negro in America when first brought here as a slave:
Introduction – Allegretto (7.22)
2. II. His Resignation and Faith: Andante (3.04)
3. III. His Adaptation: Allegro. A fusion of his native and acquired impulses (3.19)
Valerie Coleman (b.1970)
4. Umoja: Anthem of Unity for orchestra (2019) (13.28)
Florence Price
5. Piano Concerto in One Movement (original version of 1934) (17.06)
Jessie Montgomery (b.1981)
6. Soul Force (2015)
Recording: 15–18 November 2020, Mary Flagler Cary Hall, DiMenna Center, New York
Producer: Judith Sherman
Engineer: Isaiah Abolin
Assistant Engineers: Neal Shaw, Teng Chen, Joe Cilento
Piano Technician: Joel Bernache
Production Assistant: Jeanne Velonis
Editing: Judith Sherman, John Kilgore, Jeanne Velonis
Mixing: John Kilgore, Judith Sherman, Michael Repper at John Kilgore Sound Mastering: Judith Sherman, Jeanne Velonis