YOUNG AND OLD, TOGETHER IN SONG
Since our inception in 1982, collaboration has been a key force — we have worked with break dancers, Cambodian folk artists, drag queens and more — to enrich our repertoire and our commitment to a new story for a better life, no matter how old, or young, you are.
In 2013 we began our Mash-Up series, an annual collaborative concert pairing Young@Heart with the nation's best youth choirs. While we come from opposite ends of the age spectrum, we have found camaraderie in our commitment to artistic excellence — closing the generation gap.
In Mash-Up, the young and old find common ground in song. The performances have been electrifying and edifying for the participants and audiences alike.
Like our PrisonVision program, our Mash-Up series engages a formula for artistic exchange that results in a more meaningful and lasting connection among participants and spectators alike. It continues today and has included memorable performances with the Chicago Children's Choir, The Young Peoples Chorus of New York City, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and more.
Each of the choruses are world renowned for their commitment to changing lives through music, albeit from different stages of life. On stage, in our Mash-Ups, they are equals in the collaborative creative process to broaden the repertoire and deepen the experience.
A process that takes many months of advance planning, rehearsing, and communication between the directors and staff of each group, the centerpiece of the mash-up exchange culminates with a final performance in Northampton, Massachusetts where the words, images, video, dances and songs collected from our communities come to life.
Mash-Up celebrates inclusion and stimulates conversation about life at every stage.
A vital, unifying vehicle in this age of pervasive divisiveness, our Mash-Ups navigate across geographic, cultural and age divides to bring people together. This series is important for many reasons, but chief is the prospect for ageless artistic expression.
Connected by a love for music and performance, Young@Heart's elderly members model for the youth singers a future self who is involved and vital. And the children revitalize the Young@Heart and provide them with a window into the new aesthetics, values, and influences of the newest generation.
The process begins with letter correspondence between the companies. Behind the scenes videography as well as audio recordings of rehearsals provide a glimpse into how the other group lives and works. This helps acquaint the groups a bit before meeting on stage and will chart the flow of rehearsal to performance.
Pairing video footage with songs is a hallmark of the Y@H and clips can be screened during the shows as well as made available online after the concerts. Finally, we work with participants to collect texts and images into a multi media map of the project. This digital map serves as a blueprint for future intergenerational projects.
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