PMHS senior Miriam Ciacca sings on Grammy-nominated album


This year at the Grammys, many artists showcased their talent and proved themselves through performances and award nominations. While Billie Eilish’s dominated the night, Lizzo’s opening act and Ariana Grande’s show-stopping performance were all impressive, along with a variety of nominated artists who were given the opportunity to show their talent. Among those nominated artists were Julia Wolfe, who composed the album Fire in my Mouth featuring the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, The Crossing Choir, The New York Philharmonic along with the sound engineers who worked on the album, Bob Hanlon, Lawrence Rock and Ian Good. 

What is special about these two nominations, in particular, is the inclusion of the Young People’s Chorus of New York. Miriam Ciacca, a Pelham resident and senior at Pelham Memorial High School, is a member of the chorus group that sang on the Grammy-nominated album. 

“I first started singing when I was in third grade and I always loved it,” Ciaccia said. The Young People’s Chorus is a prestigious group in New York that is full of talented singers from varying backgrounds. Head composer of the chorus, Francisco J. Núñez, has conducted Miriam Ciacca and the rest of the YPC chorus in many impressive venues including The Lincoln Center. With prestigious performance spaces such as this, hours upon hours of work are put into rehearsal and perfecting of a show.

“I got involved with YPC because my mom found it and knew how much I loved singing and thought it would be a good extracurricular activity,” Ciaccia said. “She was right because I fell in love with it right away.”

Not only did Ciacca end up loving the chorus, but she was then a part of a group of diverse individuals who were all achieving amazing things together. “Everyone was so so excited when we heard about the nominations,” she said. “We were overwhelmed with excitement because we couldn’t believe we did that. It was our hard work that got us there.”

While being a part of the chorus is an accomplishment in it of itself, YPC has become recognized beyond the boundaries of the United States. “A group of us just went to Israel to represent the U.S in a ceremonial recognition of the Holocaust. We have also traveled all around the world to places like Japan, Spain, Canada, San Francisco for singing competitions and won a bunch.”

Moving forward, Ciacca has an optimistic outlook for the future of the chorus, saying, “It’ll change the program because it will give us more motivation to do our best and keep working hard. When you get rewarded with amazing experiences from the hard work like the nominations, it only motivates everyone even more.”

The accomplishments of the students who participate in the chorus are considered admirable, with the Grammy nomination added to their list of achievements.

The YPC was profiled by CBS Sunday Morning in December.