Sunday, December 24, 2006

See PS22 Perform on Channel 34 CTV at the Borough Hall Tree Lighting in Staten Island

If you're a Time Warner Cable customer in Staten Island, tune in to channel 34 today at 11:00 AM (12/24), at midnite tonight (12/25), and at 2:30 PM the day after Christmas (12/26), to see the PS22 Chorus sing 4 holiday selections at the Borough Hall Tree Lighting!

Friday, December 22, 2006

PS22's Seventh Annual Holiday Choral Concert A "GIGANTICAL" Success!

The fifth grade chorus starts off on just the right note with Tori Amos' song, "Happy Workers"! And then Eric & Josh jolly up the crowd in their own inimitable fashion!!

Dario leads the chorus and then the entire audience in a moving version of Silent Night! It was a special moment! And the audience even sung on key! How often does that happen?!

PS22 Chorus delivers on the Edwin R. Hawkins gospel classic, "Oh Happy Day"! This was a special request by our beloved "chorus earth mother" Mrs. Burns, and we're delighted that it lived up to your expectations!!

Former PS22 student Deon (featured on various previous posts) wrote this little crowd-pleaser, "Santa"! Nelson is a perfect fit for this jazzy comic tune, and has the audience in hysterics!

Breana & Lynette are hilarious as they introduce "Ode To My Clothes" by Tori Amos. Their comic timing was impeccable, and sets the stage for the silly, yet beautiful little song. Chaylene captures the essence of the song so perfectly, and the audience approves enthusiastically!!

The adorable twins, Jessica & Marissa, win over the audience with their AMAZING rendition of Justin & Mr. B's original song, "Nothing's Stopping Me"! Unfortunately, the twins will be leaving P.S.22 after the holiday vacation. We will miss them terribly, and certainly wish them all the best in their new home! Personally though, J&M, I think we have to think up a new and better plot to keep you here.... It looks like our conspiracy was not a success.... ;)

Justin & Mariah sing Bethlehem, Justin & Mr. B's original song that made a fan out of Marcia Gay Harden....

Then Justin scores MAJOR brownie points with the principal when he dedicates the encore, Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You", to her! Needless to say (if you've ever heard Justin sing), the crowd goes wild!!

And last, but not least, check out this highly amusing version of "The Dreidel Song", as performed by the AMAZING opening act, The PS22 4th Grade Chorus!! As they say, the future's so bright I gotta wear shades!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Mr. B's Choir (& Bad Hair) Days from 1992....

Just for fun, I thought I'd post MY choir from my college days, while I was studying music in SUNY New Paltz. I was in the concert choir for 2 years, and this concert was in May of 1992. We were under the direction of Lee Pritchard, who was one of my favorite professors in college. The piano player is...... some guy...... but he was really, really good....... and stuff....

And if any of my students or former students make one crack about my hair.... I'm talking to YOU, Tyrell!

A 30 second song that took eons to get right! I think it's by Charles Ives and called "Mr. Reilly".

This is my favorite American folk song.... "Shenandoah". I've done this song with my own chorus years ago, and based my 2 part arrangement on this version, maybe by Aaron Copland. (I wish I could remember these things. See, boys and girls? Pay attention in music class!)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

PS22 Chorus parties at Academy Award-winner Marcia Gay Harden's house!!

Marcia Gay Harden greets the PS22 Chorus on her doorstep!

What can we say about the night of December 16th, 2006? Can it get any cooler than receiving an invite to perform at the home of an Academy Award-winning actress?! The answer is yes -- performing for a person who (incidentally!) meets the above criteria, yet someone who is down to earth, gracious, and one who simply radiates humanity. That is Marcia Gay Harden, a genuine human being! Marcia fell in love with the chorus when she saw the kids perform at the Rainbow Room last month, and followed through on an invitation for them to sing at her home for a very intimate private holiday party! The kids were treated as honored guests, and we were all very appreciative of Marcia, her husband, family, and friends for the utmost in hospitality!

The kids performed magnificently! They had Marcia and the rest of her guests alternately in tears and smiles! It was so sweet to see Marcia's kids and their little friends singing along with the chorus. Aside from performing inside her home, chorus members said that the highlights of the trip included caroling outside in the neighborhood with Marcia, and playing afterwards with her adorable kids! We thank Marcia Gay Harden sincerely for giving the kids (and their loyal entourage!!) a night they will never forget!

If you haven't seen the Rainbow Room performance where we first caught Marcia's eye and ear, check out:

And to hear what Marcia says to the chorus, and some inspiring words for them, check out:

Below are some pictures from the party. I will also begin to compile some video highlights of the event which I will post later....

(Click pics to enlarge)

Marcia introduces us to her guests!

The kids sing their hearts out for Marcia and her guests!

Marcia poses with the kids!

A'caroling we go!

Dario leads the chorus, and the neighborhood joins in on "Silent Night"!

Marcia says goodbye and wishes us all happily holidays! The baby Marcia was holding wasn't happy to see that the chorus was leaving.... (TOO cute)

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Chorus Gives Back To The Community!

Today the chorus visited the Sunrise home for the elderly in Brooklyn, and brightened the day of the many appreciative seniors in attendance! We were very proud of them for their good deed and job well-done! Below are some highlights in pictures and video from the very special day we spent at Sunrise (not the least of which was seeing Mr. B's nana!).....

Mariama and the chorus rock out "This Christmas" by Donnie Hathaway! Hard to believe we just put this song together last week!!

Dario and the chorus sing "Silent Night" as the seniors sing along!

Mariama sings her heart out!

(From left) Doyin, Alex, Mr. B, Ziha, Mr. B's nana Bertie, Mr. B's brother Jamey, & Shanece

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Seven Classic PS22 Chorus Selections from 2005!

Here is a song that the soloist Ben (and his also-incredibly talented brother Eric) taught me when they arrived from Liberia, and boy oh boy, wouldn't he make Kirk Franklin proud?! It's called "Now Behold The Lamb."

The chorus sings Tori Amos' "Not The Red Baron", inspired by DAVID's legendary solo performance of the song.

The chorus, featuring TAO, sings Faithless' "Baseball Cap"! A student favorite for obvious reasons!!

The chorus, featuring the incredible P.S.22 alumnus DEON,
sings the "Degrassi Next Generation" theme song.

The chorus sings a medley of R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly" and New Kids On The Block member Joe McIntyre's "Stay The Same"! Another classic!

The chorus featuring FAITH singing "Ooh Child", one of my favorite songs of all time!

FABIAN leads the chorus in this preview of our graduation song, aptly titled "Graduation Song (Friends Forever)" by Vitamin C.