When Marcy-Newberry Association, a 130+ year old social services agency founded in 1883, closed its doors, the youth were left with nowhere to go and nowhere to showcase their talent. Ms. Debra Kelly, who directed the ensemble at the agency, was saddened, but her love and dedication to her craft left her searching for a way to continue to provide an outlet for the students. The youth would frequently call Ms. Kelly asking her to find a place to rehearse and spaces to perform. From that point the Voices of Youth Ensemble was born.
Ms. Kelly and her team have been able to continue to work with the youth for almost a decade after the closing. The youth in the ensemble are encouraged each day to be strong leaders, to uplift others, to impact their communities in a positive way and to appreciate their individual talents.
The Voices of Youth Ensemble’s mission is to draw from the power of performance, song and common goals to help young people from under-resourced environments understand and embrace their highest possible selves. The Voices of Youth Ensemble lovingly wraps our youth in the culture of music and performance to help them overcome barriers and become confident artists and world citizens.