Young People's Chorus of NYC gathers at The Vessel to raise awareness for teen mental health

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ByLucy Yang via WABC logo
Tuesday, October 11, 2022
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The Young People's Chorus of New York City gathered at The Vessel in Hudson Yards to raise awareness about the mental health of teenagers. Lucy Yang has the story.

HUDSON YARDS, Manhattan (WABC) -- In recognition of World Mental Health Day, many gathered in Hudson Yards Monday night to raise awareness about the mental health of teenagers.

The event happened in front of the famed 150-foot staircase known as The Vessel, a site of numerous suicides.

Sergio Mallo, a 17-year-old baritone used to take long walks alone during COVID to help clear his head.

Singing was his stress releaser but COVID took away the group dynamic.

"I was recording songs for YPC underneath my blanket in bed. I was really alone," Mallo said.

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The Young People's Chorus features 2,000 talented singers from all over New York City, from ages 8 to 18. They produced a video, featuring 15 newly composed songs, focusing on how the young struggled with mental health during the extended pandemic.

"These children were stuck at home. Some inside their apartments for 200 days," said Francisco Nunez, Artistic Director of the Young People's Chorus of NYC. "It changed them. It challenged them."

It is no coincidence that this musical film for mental health awareness was played in the shadow of The Vessel.

The $200 million structure, so popular on social media when it opened in 2019, was closed two years later after a series of tragedies.

"The message is young people need support. We must take it seriously," Nunez said.

"Music brings a lot of joy and tranquility," 16-year-old singer Katherine Chan said. "Singing has helped me a lot"

One song features a girl who spent 100 days making a red blanket for her friend. She finally got to give it to her when they were allowed to play together again.

Laughter is such a critical baseline for mental health.

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