Thursday, December 10, 2009

PS22 Chorus sings for Obama!!

I know this post is long overdue, but here goes! As noted in the caption of the above pic from page 8 of last Friday's Daily News (see above pic), the PS22 Chorus of 2010 had the most prestigious honor of singing for President Barack Obama the first family, and Vice President Joe Biden at the first-ever televised National Tree Lighting 2009 in President's Park in Washington D.C.! It will be airing all throughout the month of December on different PBS stations across the country. Check your local listings! The kids sang with Grammy-winning hip hop artist Common and performed a rockin' version of "This Christmas" by Donnie Hathoway. Check it out below!

And they were in great company! Also performing/appearing were Sheryl Crow, Jordin Sparks, Ray LaMontagne, and the evening's MC, American Idol judge Randy Jackson! You can check out some of our behind-the-scenes footage (including the soundcheck, and meeting up with Common, Jordin Sparks, and Randy Jackson!) in this video below!

HGTV was also on hand to film the festivities for a White House Christmas special of their own. The group (and particularly chorus member Julian), was followed by HGTV cameras for an inside look at our amazing experience in D.C.!

When we arrived in Washington, the kids were escorted into President's Park and went right over to do a soundcheck (seen in the above video). Almost immediately they met their collaborative partner, Common! And it was instant musical chemistry in effect! (Our science teacher Mrs. Johnson ought to have appreciated that.)

Chorus member Brielle completely tore it up, despite the fact that she was sick! Munching on Halls all day was probably a good thing! Everyone on hand was blown away by this amazing young lady, and her equally amazing cohorts!

Common couldn't get enough of the PS22 Chorus kids, and spent all of the down time hanging with them. No airs about this man. He is an amazingly generous spirit, and a generous performer as well, as evidenced by the performance. I can't really say enough great things about him. And celebrity-sniffer Ethan assures us he smells good too!

While at soundcheck, the kids also met Randy Jackson, whose "critique" of PS22 was something even Simon Cowell wouldn't dare argue with.... "The youngest. The hottest. The coolest."

And speaking of American Idol, Jordin Sparks just happened to be passing by as we were coming in too. So the kids got to say hello to her as she wished them a good performance! She also let us know that she was going to be the one introducing the chorus on the show!

After soundcheck, we headed over to lunch at ESPN Zone, where the kids had a blast!! They were served sliders, chicken fingers, and baked ziti by their teachers and got to play in the ultra-cool gameroom downstairs for about an hour! KID HEAVEN, as you can plainly see!!

After lunch, we walked back to the park and took in some of the sights along the way! The city looked fantastic and the kids enjoyed seeing some of the famous landmarks!

So when it was time for the main event, everyone was all charged up and ready to hit the stage! And the kids completely rocked it! Brielle, the chorus and our buddy Common pulled off a fantastic and memorable performance for President Obama! It was completely surreal being on that stage, waving to him and the first family before and after the performance, and seeing their delighted faces! A once in a lifetime! And you can see the complete performance on the National Tree website. The kids look and sound fantastic and it's something they can always look back on with enormous pride.

Thanks to Ms. Lisa, Ms. Laurie, Mrs. Johnson, Ms. Massimo, Mr. B's dad, and those people who sent me great pics they found on the web that helped create this blog post! More pics below:


Zen said...

Woohoo! I've been patiently waiting for these pics to pop up and I'm not surprised to say that they're well worth the wait. Glad to hear that there are more in store. Keep them coming! It must have been a great experience! (I won't say "once-in-a-lifetime" because I'm quite confident that many others of equal or greater caliber are still to come).

Anonymous said...

The post looks amazing!!!! Great job on the pics, I know you had TONS to choose from!!! Love it!!!!!

Miss Lisa : )

Suz said...

Man-- Lisa took the words right out of my mouth! The kids look like they enjoyed every bit of what had to be a very long and tiring day! AWESOMENESS!!!!

Zen said...

btw: Is there going to be a blog post about your latest YouTube video? I wonder what Jasmín's mom was thinking when she first saw her daughter's performance. :D

DAISY said...


Anonymous said...

wow aniyah looks like common in that pic but overall the chorus was amazing

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. B:
As a teacher myself (Art) I'd like to echo Sandy's comment from the bus. You've heard all the praise by now, but I'm sure that kind of compliment hit you right in the heart. I don't have to tell you how honest kids are... only the special teachers get that kind of treatment.
You're an example for the rest of us.

-Robin :)

PS: Have you thought of doing "A New York Christmas" by Rob Thomas,"I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz, or some Sarah McLaughlan?

Mr. B said...

we just covered sarah mclachlan's wintersong. hope you enjoy! :)

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed, check. The arrangement for "Oh Holy Night" is also especially nice.

Looking forward to another "coaches" video like the one from "viva la vida" :)


The Fort Worth Realtor said...

Oh my goodness! The PS22 Chorus rocked the White house Christmas lighting and wow, what an amazing teacher. WONDERFUL job, guys. You are simply phenomonal.

Merry Christmas!

Sajata Hale-Williams