They're Singing Our Praises!
By the way, that was the best national anthem sang at any race I've ever been to...period. And the drum group at the finish line singing...they were terrific. I've done the big races and their singers and performers don't even compare with the talent you had at the race. I would definitely come back and do this race again. It was a joy to be there and a joy to run the course. • David McCord
You and your staff are amazing! The show was so different everyone was literally on the edge of their seats! • Greg Freebold Sr.
It was truly "A Grand Night for Singing" at the YSPB concert tonight! I was so impressed with the quality of singing and the overall show! Loved the little video clips and the little ensembles in front of the curtain ("Take Me Out to the Ball Game" was a real hit)! Performances by the Masterworks Chorus (with Ken Taylor) and Ebony Chorale (with Orville Lawton) added much inspiration to an already amazing concert. Kudos to directors Shawn Berry, Connie Drosakis, Carrie Leahy, and James Paul - you all do such wonderful work. And a shout out to Betsy McHugh - you played brilliantly. • Valerie Owens
Another FABULOUS concert by YSPB!! So blessed by all the conductors - especially Shawn Berry and Connie Drosakis! It was a special treat to hear Hal Pysher play the new organ. Magnificent as always!! Also fun to hear The Ebony Chorale and Masterworks Chorus. It was just a wonderful night! It makes you realize how incredibly talented our young people are! • Marti Timmerman Kula
Thank you for the beautiful expression of your thoughts and insights. As a parent I can attest to the numerous benefits that my singer, Devin, receives from being involved in your fine organization. In addition to the very accurate attributes you enumerated, one of the important things that I find Devin is learning about is discipline (it is an ongoing process, certainly). He is also exposed to a whole new level of commitment and teamwork that he does not experience in any other activities. He looks forward to every rehearsal and loves performing with YSPB. You and your organization are to be commended for the first-rate work that you do, but I know it is not accolades which you seek. I know that it is seeing the children grow musically that you find more rewarding than any praise. However, I feel a bit of praise is in order: The concert was spectacular. It was a perfect blend of sophistication and humor. I thoroughly enjoyed every choir. I find it inspirational to see such talented young people each doing their best to create a wonderful result. Thank you for a fantastic, memorable night. • Kim Dykstra
My daughter is so lucky to be part of such an amazing organization! The concerts Young Singers perform on the main stage at the Kravis Center are absolutely spectacular! She has learned so much and can't wait until August to start the new season! • Loretta Sindone Gabay
YSPB is amazing. My favorite part of each performance is watching the singers enter the walkways and lobby after the performance. They float with joy shining from their souls. It's a level field at YSPB. Status, income, education, disabilities, race, religion, and hardships do not define them. Each person is critical to the success of the concert and they know it. They celebrate each other's talents. Thank you Shawn Berry, Connie Drosakis, Beth Clark, Melanee Blankstein, the YSPB staff and all the fabulous parent volunteers for creating the vision for these kids, raising the bar for each concert production and making it a can't miss event. You are changing lives! • Leanne Sztuk
Mr. Berry - Hopefully you have heard this several times throughout your career, and I certainly want to be ANOTHER person to extend this sentiment: Our experience with the Young Singers has been TREMENDOUS!!!!! My daughter Charlotte is 9 years old. She loves to sing. I run a mommy-and-me music program in Palm Beach Gardens, so my family has always been "all singing all the time!". But this experience with Young Singers has given Charlotte such a beautiful and sophisticated knowledge/foundation for music and singing. It’s overwhelming to witness it! And I’m soooo grateful!!!! Here are a few examples of how you’ve impacted us: … She used to BELT pop songs all over the house. Now she SINGS beautiful songs - with harmony and technique and a sweet sound in her head voice. My little singing bee. … She used to sing along with the radio in the car. Now she HARMONIZES in the back seat. She experiments while the radio is one, trying to find the correct harmony - above and below etc. It is amazing! … I watched her CARE if she had her folder, packed her bag, got there on time... she had such responsibility! It was so great to see her CARE about it! … The night of the concert, she said, "I felt so special. I had my own dressing room and sang in the Kravis Center. I really felt like PART of the Kravis Center". She also said, "sometimes I just felt like it was a regular choir but the sometimes I felt like it was a very SPECIAL thing - the Young Singers of the Palm Beaches is VERY SPECIAL." So, THANK YOU SHAWN BERRY for making my child feel "so special!" Lastly, as an audience member on Sunday night, I cried. I had chills. I loved every second of it. I could’ve sat there for two more hours. THANK YOU for an experience we will never forget! • Tracie Krieger
I just can't get over how this program has grown over the few years! Shawn Berry and Connie Drosakis - WOW; you have enriched the community and nurtured a love of music and performance for all these kids and families. AMAZING. • Sue Goldfinger
Thank you to all at YSPB for the important work you do. It is an amazing opportunity for all of the young people to be in such a fine activity as YSPB. I can always see a difference in Anika when she comes home from practice. It gives her a wonderful outlet and balance for her otherwise busy life. • Merja H.
Thank you so very much for all of your tireless effort with the Young Singers of the Palm Beaches. It is truly an honor to have Emily sing as part of this amazing group of children. Our family was completely mesmerized with the Winter Tapestry event, and blown away with the sensational talent of the teens and children in the Young Singers. It excites us to see how Emily’s vocal control and sound has strengthened so rapidly in her mere 3 months with Young Singers. It is a true testament as to the talent of the directors in this incredible organization. I think one of my favorite moments so far was when Emily finished singing at the Old Marsh Country Club event last week. She walked out of the room with the other children, smiling from ear-to-ear. She said there was an older woman sitting in the front of the room smiling, singing and dancing to the songs. Emily said the lady was so happy. She said the woman kept hitting her husband to participate, but he was in a wheelchair and just couldn’t. But just knowing that she touched just one person, in her words, "was worth everything." I do believe that this is the message you hope for the children to get as a member of Young Singers. I do believe Emily understands. • Michelle Kirschner
Sometimes it seems that we take for granted that our thoughts or feelings are somehow communally regarded and inherently understood, but the opportunity to fully express them shall not be missed. Words cannot express the joy I personally felt inside as I watched it all come together on Sunday, December 4th. It is an honor and a great pleasure for me to participate as a parent volunteer, and the pride I feel as a parent is immeasurable. From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much to all of you for all that you do each day to make a difference in the lives of these children. I can tell you that Alana’s participation in this organization truly has made a difference in her life. She feels confident and proud of her involvement in YSPB, and she regards her conductors as "some of the greatest teachers" she has ever known. She has gained self-discipline and an understanding of other cultures. She has been impressed, inspired, and humbled by her fellow singers. And, of course, she continues to learn and grow musically. • Alyssa & Michael Rudinsky
Last night was a hard goodbye. I still remember my parents showing me a paper ad for YSPB when I was 8 years old. I remember the audition, and my first day in Treble. Hearing Treble sing "Magical Kingdom" brought me back to my days in the little blue dress, when I sang the song 9 years ago. Seeing the younger Treble, Intermezzo, and Bel Canto children, I am so proud of what YSPB has become, and what these kids now have the opportunity to experience because of the amazing founders, conductors, and directors (Mr. Berry, Ms. Beth, Ms. Melanee, Ms. D). No matter what path I pursue in life, I don't think I will ever find leaders so dedicated to their cause: giving children the chance to make music. Music is our most powerful tool. YSPB showed me it can move an audience and mountains, make people reflect, and unite people of various backgrounds and ages. My childhood was defined by YSPB. From “Thank You for the Music,” to “The Melody Within,” to “Auld Lang Syne” and “Children Will Listen,” it's difficult to say which song/concert was my favorite. All I can say is, for 9 years, the Young Singers of the Palm Beaches has been my family. Now it's time to leave that family, but it's love has given me the strength and confidence to enter the world and face my future. YSPB, Thank YOU for the music and for giving it to me. • Caroline Downey
All good things must come to an end. I can't believe that tonight was my last ever concert with YSPB. Six years ago, I didn't know how to sing or read music, and I didn't realize how amazing music was. But the minute I joined YSPB, that all changed. Since then, the memories, friendships, and opportunities that this incredible organization have brought me have been immeasurable. Looking back over the years, a few moments stick out - Ubuntu, the Tenors, and New Orleans - but mostly it's just the laughs and joys, ups and downs, of our ordinary yet extraordinary rehearsals. Like the 10 shows that came before it, tonight's concert was unbelievable. When more than 400 people come together to sing, the joy, power, and beauty is unparalleled. From saying good-bye during "Omnia Sol" to flying doves over the audience as we sang "Anthem of Peace," it was an emotional night. And in between it all, we had a ton of fun backstage. As Winnie the Pooh said, "How lucky I am to have something that makes saying good-bye so hard." I'm going to miss the Monday nights at Kravis and the amazing, hectic, fun concert days, and most of all, I'm going to miss my YSPB family and the incredibly beautiful music we make together. Thank you YSPB and especially Mr. Berry for the memories, and for showing me that nothing is more beautiful or more powerful than music. • Narrelle Gilchrist
In the 7th grade, my chorus teacher informed me that there was auditions for a forming chorus in the Palm Beaches. I really wanted to get involved and become part of something bigger so I went ahead and gave it a shot. I passed the audition and started rehearsals. At first I did not know anybody and wasn’t sure if it was for me but everyone was so polite and made me feel comfortable. I have formed friendships and relationships from YSPB that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Michael Yannette is a genius, there were things I did on stage that I never thought I would have the courage to do, but I did, and it gave me a feeling of self-pride I will probably never experience again in my life. YSPB is a family and any one is always welcome to join, they will take you in and give you an unforgettable experience. If it weren’t for YSPB I would not be in the career path I am today. If it weren’t for YSPB I wouldn’t have seen the places I have seen or had the chance to perform in world known theatres like Avery Fisher Hall In New York. I realized the dream of a lot of people and myself to become a famous singer is hard to accomplish but I have chosen to be in the production side and surround my life with music. They helped me shape my life and stay in the right path, I want to thank the directors and all the staff for all the wonderful years. • Sebastian Yepes